PestiBytes Episode 18: The crop was just sprayed. Can I work there today?
Dr. Dave Stone, Director of the National Pesticide Information Center
Sandra Uesugi, EHSC Outreach Program Coordinator
Kristina, NPIC Pesticide Specialist
Welcome to PestiBytes, a podcast series from the National Pesticide Information Center. These are based on common pesticide questions from people just like you.
This is Sandra, and I'm here with Kristina to talk about some important information about pesticides sprayed in agricultural fields. Kristina, when can farm workers go back into fields after they are sprayed with pesticides. And are there rules about reentry?
Yes, some pesticides require that you wait a certain time period after spraying before entering the field so that you are not exposed to unsafe levels of chemicals. This time period is known as the restricted entry interval or the REI.
How can I find out whether there is a restricted entry interval for a certain pesticide, in a certain field?
The REI is listed on the pesticide label under "Agricultural Use Requirements" or next to the crop or application method. Your employer is required to post the REI, including information about the active ingredient and when it was applied, at a central location. You can also check for signs at the entrances of the field warning people not to enter the area.
What situations may allow for early entry into the treated area before the restricted interval time is up?
Early entry is only permitted by the EPA in very specific situations, and often requires special clothing and equipment. Before a pesticide application, talk with your boss about when early entry may be permitted and the procedures in these situations.
Why is it ok to enter the field after the REI is up?
The risk goes down with passing hours and days. Sometimes the pesticide breaks down over time. Sometimes it's absorbed by the plants, or watered into the soil. By waiting until the REI is over, you are allowing these processes to happen.
Thanks, Kristina. That was really helpful.
If you have questions about pesticides, please call us at 1-800-858-7378 or visit us on the web at http://npic.orst.edu
PestiBytes is brought to you by the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University
the Environmental Protection Agency
. These are produced in collaboration with OSU's Environmental Health
, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
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If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated April 20, 2011