Government of New Brunswick

Pesticides are toxic substances and if they are not used properly, they can pose a hazard not only to the user but also to the environment. The following are key points that will help to minimize environmental impact.

  1. Read the label. Follow the directions for pesticide use. The label is a very informative document that will provide information on environmental concerns.
  2. Be aware of potential impacts of pesticides on wildlife including birds, and on fish and insects in streams, rivers and lakes.
  3. Minimize spray drift. Abide by specific buffer zones.
  4. Do not mix or load pesticides near bodies of water or wells.
  5. Do not wash any equipment used for pesticide application in bodies of water or near a well.
  6. Clean up any spills at loading sites and at row ends.
  7. Ensure that there is a backflow preventor on equipment that is drawing water directly into equipment used to mix a pesticide or to apply a pesticide.
  8. Select a pesticide or formulation that is least toxic to fish and wildlife, particularly when application is made close to fish and wildlife habitat.
  9. Select a pesticide or formulation that is least likely to leach into the groundwater.


Store pesticides in tightly closed original containers in a locked cabinet, room or building away from children, pets, and livestock. Make sure the labels are intact and the container is not torn or leaking. Do not store with food, feed, seed, fertilizer or water supplies. Do not store large quantities of herbicides in the same building with other pesticides. Some herbicides are volatile and can contaminate other pesticides.

For liquid formulations, heated storages with temperatures about 5oC are ideal. Although cold temperature protection is not necessary for wettable powders, they should be kept in dry storage, shielded from direct sunlight and excessive heat, both in winter and summer. Storage areas in all cases should be cool, dry and well ventilated.

Mark all entrances to storage areas clearly in language understandable to all employees with appropriate warnings indicating "Warning, Chemical Storage, Authorized Persons Only". Always check the container label for specific information relative to storage.



Disposal of Pesticides

Any pesticide that cannot be used, because it is not needed, not registered any more, or unusable for some other reason (damaged, for example) may be considered a hazardous waste. Because the proper disposal of waste pesticides is complicated and must be carried out in an environmentally sound manner, it is recommended that the provincial pesticide regulatory agency or the Department of the Environment be called for guidance in this matter.




Empty pesticide containers should be rinsed three times with about 10% of the volume of the container. The rinsate should be put into the spray tank to be used. For plastic and paper bags, one rinse is acceptable. The containers should be punctured or rendered unusable, and taken to a landfill site that will accept them. The use of returnable containers is encouraged. Large metal containers are recycled where possible.