Herbicide safety

Page last updated: Monday, 2 February 2015 - 5:08pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Protective clothing


Unlined, flexible gauntlet-type gloves are considered best.

  • PVC (not rubber or surgical plastic gloves), Viton and Nitrile Rubber (NBR) are impervious to most solvents and are most suitable.
  • Disposable/surgical gloves are suitable only for delicate jobs such as cleaning nozzles, provided they are used once only, and then disposed of properly.
  • Replace used gloves regularly.
  • Never wear leather gloves, or gloves that leak.


  • Full length overalls should be worn during all spraying operations. Light cotton/polyester type is available for summer. These must be washed every day. Bib and brace type are not suitable.
  • Full length breathable nylon fabric overalls are excellent.
  • PVC pants and jackets are very good when spraying in winter. They are essential for the more hazardous horticultural spraying operations.
  • There are several disposable overalls on the market. Polyethylene and polypropylene fabric will prevent droplets from spray drift contacting skin, but are not waterproof.


  • While rubber boots are satisfactory, PVC boots are better. Steel caps in the toe offer extra safety but are not essential when spraying.
  • Never wear leather boots while spraying and throw out leaking boots.

Eye and face protection

  • Always wear eye protection when handling, especially when pouring chemicals and solutions.
  • A face shield protects the whole of the face but is difficult to wear with the conventional twin cartridge respirator.
  • Goggles and safety glasses protect only the eyes. However, they can be worn with a respirator.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Andrew Reeves
+61 (0)8 9780 6224