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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Safe use of agrochemicals


Recognize the problem

If agrochemicals are used incorrectly, they may harm our health and even kill us. They may harm our kids and pets and may contaminate the water.


Agrochemicals have labels of different colors.
  • The red label is for extremely toxic agrochemicals
  • The yellow label is for toxic chemicals
  • The blue label is for slightly toxic chemicals
  • The green label is for less toxic agrochemical
The poison in the agrochemicals can enter the body through the skin, but even more can enter through the mouth, eyes, nose, anus and scrotum.


  • Inspect the crop and spray only when necessary
  • Use less toxic products
  • Use a knapsack that is in good condition and will not spill poison on your back
  • Cover your mouth while spraying. Use a proper mask to ensure the best protection against pesticides entering your mouth
  • Learn about the pest and use a specific pesticide rather than a broad spectrum pesticide, which can harm beneficial organisms such as bees
  • Follow instructions on the label and check the expiration date
  • Transport the pesticide in a safe and isolated manner
  • Store the pesticide in a safe and ventilated place
  • Before the application, eat well and use appropriate and safe clothes to prepare and apply the pesticide. When the container is empty, triple wash it, perforate it and store it in a place that is far from the house
  • During the application, do not eat, smoke, chew coca or apply chemicals against the wind direction or when the sun is too strong
  • After the application, wash the knapsack, wash the clothes and let them dry, take a shower with abundant water and soap, and do not come back to the crop until the next day
  • Do not spray pesticides or wash pesticide containers out near ditches or streams as this will contaminate the water

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Bolivia

Authors: Raquel Pardo, Jaime Chávez Serrano
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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