COVID-19 has led to short supplies for some personal protective equipment (PPEs). People handling pesticides are recommended to use approved chemical resistant, long gauntlet-style gloves (typically neoprene or nitrile), goggles, head covering, long sleeves and pants or coveralls, rubber boots and approved respirators (masks). Recommended PPEs are indicated on the label of each pesticide.
Respirators for pesticide applicators are NIOSH/MSHA/BHSE approved organic-vapour-removing cartridge with a pre-filter approved for pesticides or a NIOSH/MSHA/BHSE approved canister for pesticides.
After removing protective gloves, wash hands thoroughly with soap and water. Hand sanitizer that is a viable substitute for hand washing for COVID-19 protection will not remove pesticide residues and is therefore not a substitute for hand washing to protect from pesticide exposure.
Porous footwear and gloves (leather, canvas, cloth, nylon coated foam, etc.) are not recommended handwear for pesticide application or mixing, since pesticides will soak into these materials and will re-expose the wearer each time they wear them.
An N95 mask is considered a dust or fume mask, which would only protect against some types of pesticide dusts and not against spray mists or vapours.
The PPE situation
- Alberta farmers can submit PPE orders directly to the Logistics Section of Municipal Affairs’ Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s Provincial Operations Centre (AEMA-POC) for procurement on their behalf. Alberta Canola provides instructions.
- Manitoba Canola Growers are getting calls about PPEs and would like your insight. Manitoba growers, please take a moment to complete the MCGA survey.