Pesticide Hazards in Outdoor Marijuana Grows

3/5/2018

Pesticide Hazards  in   Outdoor Marijuana Grows

Robert Ford CIH,CSP Environmental Program Manager California Department of Pesticide Regula

Author Phillip Walters

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JOURNAL TRANSCRIPT
3/5/2018

Pesticide Hazards  in   Outdoor Marijuana Grows

Robert Ford CIH,CSP Environmental Program Manager California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Pesticide Exposures to Law Enforcement  2014 -Drug task force officer developed rash on arms after removing plants in marijuana grow. -Five US Forest Service employees exposed to a “pink liquid” used to kill wildlife while cutting plants. Flu like symptoms persisted up to two weeks. Sought medical care. -National guard member developed headache and breathing problem after removing plants in a grow site. Possible exposure to methamidophos. -CDFW warden exposed to carbofuran while working in marijuana grow. Developed chest pain, breathing difficulty, nausea. Sought medical care. Source: DPR Pesticide Illness Surveillance Database

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Photos: CDFW

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Routes for Pesticide Exposure • Entering gardens  recently treated • Removing plants with  residual product • Cutting/moving drip  lines • Dismantling holding  ponds • Helicopter down draft • Opening containers • Searching refuse

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Pesticide Labels Signal Words

• Pesticides have been found with banned or restricted use in  the US • Label identification can help specify toxicity DANGER 

POISON  

Poison in red letters with skull and crossbones

Highly toxic/fatal (taste to 1/8 oz) through inhalation, absorption,  ingestion or corrosive to eyes and skin

WARNING  Moderately toxic (1/8 to 1 ounce), severe potential for irritation to  skin and eyes (clearing in 8 to 21 days)

CAUTION  Slightly toxic (ounce to pint) through ingestion, moderate potential  for skin and eye  irritation 

Organophosphate Pesticides Cholinesterase inhibitor Fat soluble Absorb well through the skin, mucous membranes,  eyes, and respiratory system Include: Methyl Parathion  Restricted use pesticide (Metaphos or Metafos) Not registered for Use in California

Methamidophos Restricted use pesticide (Monitor, Tamaron) Not registered for Use in California 

Malathion Non‐restricted use 

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Carbamate Pesticides Cholinesterase Inhibitor Include: Carbofuran Restricted use pesticide (Furadan, Furan) Not registered for Use in California Banned by Federal EPA

Carbaryl Restricted use pesticide except for home‐use bait  formulation (Sevin‐5)

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Of Major Concern Carbofuran in water  bottles Placed in plastic bottles  and sprayed on ground  and plants to kill wildlife  through absorption and  ingestion Also highly toxic to  responding personnel 

Cholinesterase Inhibition Effect on nervous system synapses in humans, vertebrates, and insects.

Synaptic  Gap

Stimulating signals are carried across the synapse by acetylcholine. Signals are cancelled by acetylcholinesterase

Cholinesterase inhibiting chemicals interfere with the cancelling of the nerve impulse allowing the impulse to continue resulting in uncontrolled rapid twitching of muscles, paralyzed breathing, convulsions, and death to the organism.

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Generalized Symptoms of Exposure Cholinesterase Inhibiting Pesticides

Mild- tiredness, weakness, dizziness, nausea and blurred vision Moderate- headache, sweating, tearing, drooling, vomiting, tunnel vision, and twitching Severe- abdominal cramps, muscular tremors, pinpoint pupils, abnormally low blood pressure, slow heartbeat, breathing difficulty.

Requirements for Cholinesterase  Inhibiting Pesticide Use • In agriculture, anyone who regularly mixes, loads, or applies an OP or carbamate pesticide with the signal words “Danger” or “Warning” must be under a medical supervision program (CCR T3,§6728)

• Pre-exposure baseline cholinesterase should be established for individuals before they come in regular contact with organophosphate and carbamate pesticides.

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Rodenticides Aluminum and Zinc Phosphide  

(Ratone, Commando) Applied as bait or dust Red or pink in color Reactive with water and/or acid  “DANGEROUS WHEN WET” Very toxic if swallowed or dust inhaled Not easily absorbed through skin Works by releasing phosphine gas when  ingested or inhaled Causes pulmonary edema (fluid buildup) in  lungs

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Rodenticides Symptoms not immediate, may occur up to 24  hours later Exposure symptoms include; ‐”feeling cold” all over ‐chest tightness, abdominal pain Avoid handling containers when possible  Do not handle containers or bait with bare hands Wash hands immediately after handling 

Rodenticides Coumarin‐type anticoagulants (TALON G) • Grain like, green pellets • Designed to cause internal bleeding after  repeated ingestion • Does not absorb through skin • Do not handle product with bare skin • Avoid breathing dust

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Rodenticides • Strychnine  • OSHA exposure limit 0.15 mg/m3 • Lethal dose in humans ranges from                  30 to 120 mg (approx. 15% of 1 lb container) • Exposure easily controlled • Do not handle containers with bare hands • Avoid breathing dust • Wash off contamination as soon as possible

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Protecting Yourself CCR Title 8, Section 3380 “Personal Protective Devices” Requires employees to use the type of PPE needed that will protect them from the hazards found This image cannot currently be display ed.

 Granular Pesticides Other Solids Dust mask (N, R, P)

 Impervious Gloves (SDS or label)

 Field sanitation water for washing rinsing contamination

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Provided as a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1.800.858.7378 [email protected]

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