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Handling, Storage, Disposal of Pesticides

It is important to understand the regulatory frameworks that govern the use of pesticides. Healthcare organizations should ensure that they have proper procedures in place for the purchase, handling, storage and end disposal of pesticides, and understand which substances are regulated as pesticides by the US EPA. The Federal Insect, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) governs the use of pesticides. The definition is fairly broad, covering any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel, or mitigate any pest, including microorganisms. The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates the disposal of waste pesticides. Note that States are allowed to impose regulations on pesticides beyond FIFRA and RCRA obligations – these may be more stringent than the federal regulations. Be sure to check with your state environmental agency for more information.

For more comprehensive information on the regulatory implications of the handling, storage, labeling, and disposal of pesticides see the Healthcare Environmental Resource Center’s Pesticides webpage.

Under certain circumstances, pesticides are covered under Universal Waste rules (40 CFR part 273). This includes:

  • Recalled pesticides that are:
    • Stocks of a suspended and canceled pesticide that are part of a voluntary or mandatory recall under FIFRA Section 19(b), including, but not limited to those owned by the registrant responsible for conducting the recall; or
    • Stocks of a suspended or canceled pesticide, or a pesticide that is not in compliance with FIFRA that are part of a voluntary recall by the registrant.
  • Stocks of other unused pesticide products that are collected and managed as part of a waste pesticide collection program.

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