Harlow, L.1; Harlow, E.2
1Agriculture and Natural Resources, UF/IFAS Extension, Union County, Lake Butler, FL, 32054
2Residential and Commercial Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Columbia County, Lake City, FL, 32055


The objectives of this program were to increase knowledge about pesticide residues, the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), and encourage a behavior change to begin wearing PPE if they were not already wearing it correctly.  The program has developed over the last three years and was originally adapted the “Florescent Tracer Manual” from Washington State.  The program is flexible depending on the audience need and has been taught in 30 minute to 2 hour sections.  It includes an instructional media presentation plus activities using tracer dye to demonstrate pesticide residue.  The activities are either woven into the discussion time or sometimes set up as group activities depending on the situation and instructor.  The activities were created to be adaptable across multiple pesticide applicator industries, including pest control professionals, landscapers, and agricultural producers. In most of the training, we present scenarios to the audience which they then have to interpret which PPE to use and how to wear it properly.  Someone then actively puts on the PPE and continues to “interact” with the pesticide (tracer dye).  This might include answering a cell phone before removing gloves, touching a steering wheel, or using damaged gloves.  Black lights are then used to make the invisible dye glow showing where the residue has traveled. Not only is it a fun activity and interactive, but makes the learner re-think how they wear PPE’s in their daily routines.  By not being able to see the dye and then illuminating it really drives home the point of how important it is to correctly wear PPEs.   After seeing it presented at a state conference, Massey Services employed a similar training and Univar Solutions also asked to use our materials and has done training throughout the state.  To date, over 10 programs and 270 applicators have gone through this training with UF faculty or Univar representatives.  Through this unique pesticide safety training, pesticide applicators saved a combined potential of $17,000 (34 X $500) for the individuals who said they would be more mindful of or change how they wore safety equipment during a follow-up or exit survey.

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