formulations. Over the last 20 years, there have been important advances in pesticide-application technology. Many of the advances have been implemented, especially for class I pesticides. Entire engineering groups in agrichemical companies and in university departments are devoted to application technology. Ultralow volume, geographic information system applications, drip irrigation, chemigation, and prepackaged ready-to-use containers have all reduced the exposure of agricultural workers (see Table 3-1).

Some changes in formulations of pesticides that are used in household products are needed. The basic change would be to prohibit sale of highly concentrated formulations. That would lower the impact of accidental spills, ingestion by children, and spraying of higher-than-needed concentrations.

Addition of odorants or dyes to pesticides at concentrations that would match the risk of specific pesticides. A characteristic of pesticides that results in worker-safety problems is the lack of immediate feedback to exposed workers. When a worker is hurt because of malfunctioning or misused farm equipment, the cause of the injury is clear to the

TABLE 3-1 Application Technologies with Potential to Reduce Pesticide Risks


Application Technology

Drift reduction

Electrostatic sprayers

Hooded sprayers

Air-assisted sprayers

Spray additives

Low-pressure nozzles

More precise application


Weed-identification sprayers

Sprayer injection systems

Speed and flow monitors

Field mapping and GIS systems

Variable-rate application

Applicator safety

Closed systems

Direct-injection systems

Prepackaged, ready-to-use containers

Source: Hall and Fox, 1997.

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