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chemical sprays

Posted by Nicholas_Milsum BofP. N.Z. (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 10, 05 at 0:27

In New Zealand chemical sprays are sold in the public reception areas of garden centres. When I am close to the spray display stands I am aware of the strong smell of the sprays and sometimes I get a mild head-ache. This is what I would like to know:
1. In other countries are chemical sprays sold in areas to which the general public use for other purposes.
2. Is it my imagination that there is chemical leakage from spray containers.
3. Is there a risk to the public and more so to the people that work within the centre?
4. Do some centres sell sprays from "safe" locations?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: chemical sprays

There's usually a stinky chemical aisle in US garden centers...regulated chemicals (which you need a licence for) are normally not somewhere civilians can get at them.

RE: chemical sprays

  • Posted by Vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 10, 05 at 10:43

Normally in the wide open home improvement stores it's all located in the same aisle but the smell is better dispersed as compared to chem aisles in the mom & pop feed/seed stores. I don't know how the stock clerks can tolerate the air borne chemical brew? Dust flies when they open up and unpack the assorted bagged powdered products.

RE: chemical sprays

Ah vgkg, that's why OSHA has been 'fixed' - & it's gonna get even weaker = (

RE: chemical sprays

In answer to question 3: I don't know of any studies that have quantified the risk, but as my IPM teacher said, the rule of thumb is that if you can smell it, it's getting into your lungs.

This is one of the reasons I avoid some nurseries -- the ones that have the chemicals in the entry area, near the checkout. Usually it's the only indoor area and a place where they can keep an eye on small pricey items, but it is unpleasant to walk through on the way in and out.

RE: chemical sprays

My pesticide use/safety teacher was more specific: if you can smell it, it is already in your blood stream.

There is always some outgassing from even dry containers of pesticides plus a constant drift of fine particulates. Once, when I was an inspector for an organic certification agency, I was required to inspect and inventory existing stores of pesticides and fertilizers on farms and ranches. I managed to get ill by the end of a long hot season of inspections.

RE: chemical sprays

A few years ago in Australia there were three or four recalls of sprays because of faulty containers, ie leaking. It appalls me that these products are sold in supermarkets. Some also sell potting mix. When it was first discovered that you could get Legionnaires Disease from potting mix they all stopped selling it for a while. And then they went back to selling it like they'd always done, with no precautions like separate checkouts. I always check what's in the shopping trolleys and whether there's spilt potting mix on the counter before choosing a checkout. I once saw bags of Weed'n'Feed at the entrance to KMart and one of the bags had burst. Nobody did anything about it for days. A small child walking past could easily have decided to sample it. I don't think supermarkets and department stores should be selling gardening products. In the case of sprays, the staff wouldn't have the expertise to help you identify your problem and recommend the appropriate product. In the nurseries I go to, the sprays are in the same building as the checkouts and in most I haven't been troubled by the smell, but one has always been a little smelly and the last time I was there I was disappointed to find that the smell was much worse than usual. One of the other nurseries is set out so that you can walk on either side of the building to get to the plants and if you don't find anything to buy you go out the same way. Unfortunately the smelly nursery has just one entrance and you have to walk through the length of the building.

Good questions Nicholas. I notice you posted this a while back. I wonder how I missed it till now. Perhaps some other Gardenwebbers could tell us where gardening products are sold in their area. Are there any countries where such products aren't allowed to be sold in supermarkets or near where food is served or anything like that?

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