University of Missouri Extension

G1914, Reviewed April 2010

Laundering Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing

Reviewed by Mary Kroening
Division of Plant Sciences

Proper care of clothing and other protective items worn during the application of pesticides helps protect the user and prevents pesticide residues from spreading to areas where people live and work. The following guidelines apply to farmers and commercial pesticide applicators, as well as to home gardeners who apply common, general-use products, such as Roundup and Sevin, to their lawns, flowers and vegetables.

Although the pesticide label should be used as a guideline for laundering contaminated clothing, most labels do not contain specific instructions. This publication should be regarded as a supplement to the information provided on pesticide labels or the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available from chemical dealers.

Saturated clothing

Do not attempt to launder clothing that has become saturated with undiluted pesticides. Saturated, contaminated clothing should be removed immediately, and the wearer should shower as soon as possible. The contaminated clothing must be secured and held for a household hazardous waste collection or be discarded in accordance with local laws and regulations. Place the clothing in an airtight, metal container, and label the container with contents and date. Do not store the container inside the house. Instead, place it in a pesticide storage facility or other location away from sources of heat, spark, flame or ignition. Contact your local MU Extension center to find out about collection programs in your area.

Protecting others from contaminated clothing

Pesticide-contaminated clothing may pose a risk to family members in addition to the person wearing the clothing. Pesticide-contaminated clothing to be laundered should be kept separate from family laundry in a disposable plastic bag. The person doing the laundry must understand that the clothing is contaminated with pesticide and requires special handling.

Minimizing the risk

The majority of pesticide exposures occur through contact with the skin. Keep in mind the following precautions to protect yourself, your clothing and others in your household who may be exposed to pesticide residues:

This publication revises and replaces MU Extension publication GH140, Laundering Pesticide Contaminated Clothing.
Written by Fred Fishel, Department of Agronomy and Sharon Stevens, Missouri Textile and Apparel Centers
G1914 Laundering Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing | University of Missouri Extension

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