Make sure the label on every container is clearly visible and readable. Consider covering the original label with transparent wrapping tape to protect it. If the label gets fragile or is destroyed, mark the container in permanent ink with the trade name and common name of the product, the EPA registration number, the percentage of each active ingredient, the signal word (Caution, Warning, or Danger), and the use classification (restricted-use or general-use pesticide). Your state may require different information on containers lacking labels (See Laws and Regulations). You may request a replacement label from a pesticide dealer or manufacturer. Consider covering the replacement label with transparent wrapping tape to protect it.
Write the date of purchase on all containers. Use older pesticides first so that a disposal problem is not created with pesticides stored longer than their shelf life. If you have questions about the shelf life of a product, contact the dealer or manufacturer. Conduct regular inspections of the storage facility and check containers for cracks, leaks, and deterioration. If a container is damaged, you may use the pesticide immediately for uses specified on the label, or transfer it using one of the following procedures and wearing appropriate protective clothing and equipment.
- Transfer the pesticide into another container that originally held the same pesticide and that still has its label.
- Transfer the pesticide to a sturdy container that can be tightly closed. If possible, transfer the label from the damaged container to the new one, or make a temporary label (see minimum label requirements listed above) until you can get a new one. Never use a food, feed, or drink container.
- Place the damaged container, and its contents, into a larger liquid-proof container. Make a temporary label until you can use the pesticide or dispose of it properly.
Compiled by Wayne Buhler, PhD.