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AFM 91-19 / TM 5-629 / NAVFAC MO-314
24 May 1989
The use of safety equipment is mandatory when
g. Some herbicides are dyes that can stain
mixing and applying herbicides when indicated
unprotected skin and hair. Handle these with
on the herbicide label.
a. If a concentrated spray is ingested, take
immediate and appropriate action for the chemi-
1-11. Livestock and Domestic Animals. For
cal, as indicated on the label. Notify the military
most herbicides, the chief dangers of poisoning
hospital, and, if possible, immediately transport
livestock come from consuming herbicide rem-
the victim to the hospital emergency room,
nants that are in open containers or spilled on
accompanied by the herbicide label with antidote
the ground or floor.
a. Herbicides are often used to improve pas-
b. Prevent absorption by the skin, and irrita-
ture by controlling undesirable plants that pro-
tion of skin and eyes, by keeping exposure to a
vide poor forage. Desirable plant species will
minimum. Some individuals are hypersensitive to
increase as competition from weeds decreases.
certain chemicals, and have allergic reactions
b. Herbicides such as 2,4-D and similar com-
that are not possible to predict without skin
pounds may increase the palatability of' plants
tests. For most herbicides, washing the hands
not ordinarily eaten. If these are poisonous
and face with soap and water after handling is
species, such as jimson weed, larkspur, hemlock,
sufficient protection. Prolonged contact is more
and cherry, the hazard of animal sickness and
dangerous than short exposures.
death may increase temporarily. The nitrite con-
tent of some plants can be increased enough to
c. For the more readily absorbed chemicals
be toxic to livestock when sprayed with 2,4-D.
and those that are irritating, wear clean clothing
Significantly increased nitrite content of plants,
that covers the body. Wear long pants and long
however, does not usually follow spraying. More
sleeves. Remove clothing that has become con-
commonly, unfertilized soils are so low in nitro-
taminated with the chemical. Use synthetic rub-
gen content that nitrite poisoning is no hazard.
ber gloves that are unlined. Where splashing
may occur, wear goggles or a face shield and a
rubber or plastic apron. If spray or dust is
1-12. Desirable Plants. Certain precautions in
spilled on the skin, wash thoroughly with soap
the use of herbicides are necessary to prevent
and water. If the herbicide contacts the eyes,
damage to nearby desirable plants. This damage
flush the eyes with plain water and call the
may result from spray drift, washing, or leach-
medical facility emergency room. An emergency
shower and eye wash must be maintained in
a. Drift hazards are greatest when herbicides
the shop area, and a portable eyewash should
are sprayed on foliage. These may be of the
be carried in any vehicle used for pesticide
growth-regulating type such as 2,4-D, dicamba,
and picloram; or of the contact type such as
d. Purchase liquid concentrates and powders
paraquat and petroleum oils. Danger is de-
in containers that can be readily lifted by
creased with granular applications of nonvolatile
the operator in the field, or provide special
herbicides. Spray drift occurs not only with
pumping equipment for transferring chemicals
volatile herbicides, i.e. high-volatile esters of
to the sprayers. Packages of powders should
2,4-D, but also with sprays that are atomized
be small enough so that it is unnecessary to
into a mist by high pressure and a small nozzle
remove the contents with a scoop. Never trans-
opening. Controlling drift is discussed in para-
fer chemicals to unmarked, unlabeled contain-
graph 2-7.
b. Wash-off migration of herbicides can be an
e. Do not inhale vapors, dusts, and spray
important hazard on slopes, bare ground, and
pavements. The herbicide may be carried by
mists. Using a respirator approved by MESA/
surface runoff water to valuable plants down
NIOSH for the particular type of exposure is
mandatory when label directions indicate the
slope. Problems often occur when water runs
need. In the case of a severe exposure, move the
across an area treated with soil sterilant herbi-
victim into fresh air, administer artificial respira-
cides onto lawns or ornamental beds or among
tion if needed, and call the medical facility
trees. Do not drain or flush equipment where
emergency room.
runoff to desirable plants may occur.
c. Leaching moves chemicals downward
f. Some chemicals are flammable or support
through the soil. If the herbicides are readily
fire. Avoid ignition from sparks and contact
absorbed by roots, plants whose roots extend
with combustible materials.


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