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Storing pesticides

Storing pesticides

Keep people safe and store your pesticide safely and securely. Store pesticides with care to avoid leaks, damage to labels, misuse or theft of your pesticide. Careful storage will also protect your pesticide from fire, intense heat, cold, damp, light and humidity. Always comply with local laws and rules on how to store your product.

Manage your store

Keep all pesticide in a safe, locked store used only for storing pesticides. Keep the key in a safe place, out of the reach of children.

Keep as little pesticide in your store as possible. 
Buy only as much pesticide as you need, when you need it. Ask your supplier if any older or surplus pesticide can be taken back.

Keep only pesticide in your store. 
Store your pesticides away from animals, people, food, feed, fertilizer and seed. Store personal protective equipment (PPE) away from your pesticide products.

Store pesticides in the producer's pack with labels intact.
Check the state of the pesticide pack at the time of delivery. Only store packs that have tamper‑proof caps and with all seals intact. When using tiers of shelves, store dry products above liquid products. Keep in the original container, tightly closed.

Keep the store clean and tidy. 
Have a spill kit ready with materials to mop up spills as soon as they happen and clean water. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Remove trip hazards and keep a first aid kit. Have a waste bin for polluted waste. To dispose of waste, follow local best practice.

Check the condition of your pesticides regularly. 
Make sure that stored pesticides are within their expiry date, are in a good state, with their labels intact. Use older pesticides before newer pesticides. If any pesticides have passed their expiry or 'safe use' date, ask your supplier to take them back. If they do not, then dispose of old pesticides following local best practice.

Maintain up-to-date and complete store records for all the pesticides.
Keep these in the store and have them ready to show emergency services. Know what to do in the case of an accident. Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers where it can be seen easily.

When handling unopened pesticide packs and wrappings, wear at least, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers and boots.

Never smoke, eat or drink in the store room nor close to a pesticide storage box.

Check that you can store any unused pesticides safely until you need them.
Check that you will use stored pesticides before the ‘use by’ date. If not, then ask your supplier to take the pesticide back.

Empty, clean pesticide packs must be stored safely until disposal. 
Store upright with lids closed. Keep foil seals in a strong plastic bag. Check to find out if cardboard can be recycled.

Smaller amounts of packaging may be kept in a drum or plastic bag used only to store used pesticides.
Keep the waste in the pesticide store until you can dispose of it safely.

Larger amounts of packaging must be kept in a bunded site or so that any drips are collected. 
Store in a secure location that provides cover and is next to or in the store.

Follow the advice on your pesticide labels for any advice on how to store pesticides. A material safety data sheet (MSDS) also offers useful help about how the pesticide looks, its odor, flash point, boiling point, solubility, and so on, and what that means for its safe storage.

Pesticide stores for smaller amounts

You can buy a pesticide store or you may be able to adapt a chest or box. Make sure your pesticide store:

  • is large enough to store products upright and kept off the floor
  • can keep pesticides on trays, in a second container or is bunded so that any leaked pesticide is retained in the store
  • is labelled 'pesticide store', and marked with hazard warnings inside and outside
  • is located away from children and animals
  • is away from any homes
  • is locked when not in use.

Check the laws in your country to make sure that you can use part of a building to store small amounts of pesticides. 

If you are building a store room, use materials that are impermeable and fire resistant.

Pesticide stores for larger amounts

Local rules may need stores for larger volumes of pesticide to have:

  • high levels of security
  • bunding to contain the contents of the store plus any water used in an emergency
  • a list of actions to prevent fire and flood
  • temperature and other climatic controls
  • ventilation
  • solid floors and shelves that will not absorb pesticides
  • a system of floor drains that allow fluids to flow into a waste 'water' store
  • pesticides stored by type, for example, to keep insecticides, herbicides and fungicides in different parts of the store
  • a spill kit
  • good lighting and non-slip floors
  • hazard warning signs outside and inside the store.

Locating your pesticide store

Site your store:

  • away from any risk of fire or flood
  • far from homes, food, livestock, feed, seed, fertilizer, gasoline, soil, wells, surface water (drains, ditches, rivers, streams, springs)
  • far from any place where the pesticides might present a risk.

Be aware that you may need a permit to build a pesticide store. Seek advice on where the best location is to have your pesticide store.