A number of pesticides, including several that are commonly used on potatoes, are very poisonous. Even small quantities, taken up over a period of time, can cause serious illness.
Wearing protective clothing, goggles or faceshield, and a respirator is the best way to avoid poisoning. Protective clothing should be worn throughout the mixing and spraying operations. Protective clothing should be washed frequently, separate from other laundry. Unlined rubber or plastic gloves should always be worn. Neoprene and nitril gloves are the best protection against pesticides. Never wear leather or cloth gloves — they quickly absorb pesticides. Wearing rubber boots, instead of leather boots, is a good idea, even for walking through fields recently sprayed with an insecticide. A suitable respirator should be worn when there is risk of breathing in pesticide dust, fumes or spray mist. Examples of suitable respirators are the American Optical R6068, MSA Pesticide Respirator and Wilson Agritox. Dust masks are not good enough. Respirators are fitted with filters and cartridges which should be replaced when breathing becomes difficult, or if any pesticide odour is noticed. A beard may prevent the respirator from fitting properly. Cyanamid has available a kit called the "Pesticide Action Safety Kit".
Although protective clothing and respirators may be uncomfortable on a hot day, the inconvenience is a small price to pay for safeguarding your health.