New Chemical Use Training

New Chemical Use Training

Just Simple and Accessible

When it comes to rural chemical safety a lot of it seems like common sense, still we know what they say about common sense… ‘It isn’t that common’.  The other thing we need to consider is that if we are employing people, while they may not need to be accredited under any state legislation, it is important for workplace safety that they know how to handle and use chemicals in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Our NEWUsing Chemicals Safely’ Course neatly fills the gap in training that had existed for workplaces & organisations who understood that some employees and group members do not need accreditation or licensing, but who appreciate their duty of care and have been looking for an appropriate training solution.

Here at Smith and Georg, one of Australia’s leading chemical training organisations, we have been providing Online and Face to Face training to rural industries as well as local Government, Landcare and Indigenous groups, golf courses and turf growers, mining industry etc. for 20 years, and have just chalked up another first in the marketplace by launching Australia’s first ever online Level 2 ‘Using Chemical Safely’ Course.  Sitting on our web-based training platform, the course is designed to be done easily in as little as five hours.

Backpack SprayingThis new product provides employers, group coordinators and individuals with a cost effective and time efficient way to access Chemical Use training, where Level 3 Accreditation or State Licences are not required.

There is no longer the need to wait for a course to be held in your local area to access training to work safely with chemicals, thus avoiding the downtime, risk and expense of traveling to attend a course.

Instead course participants can jump online immediately, complete the course and receive a statement of attainment soon after completion.  Unlike the Smith & Georg full accreditation courses, there are few maths components and only simple literacy requirements.

This course is perfect for people working in landscaping, green keeping, bushcare, local government, mining and primary industries.  And for those who struggle, you can rest assured that you are fully supported by expert and friendly staff, with our free call number available to all course participants.

Launching in September the course is being offered at an early-bird price of $175.00 (GST Exempt) for the first 100 participants.  After that it will be available at $197.00 with discounts applying to group bookings of 2 or more.  I think we all agree, it’s a small cost for injecting some common sense into Rural Chemical Safety practices and removing the dangerous, and even deadly, consequences of mistakes.

BONUS – First 100 to enrol will get their course at $175, after that it will be $197 – to see if you are in the First 100 use the PROMO CODE ‘FIRST100’ in our online CHECKOUT – or ring us on 1800 991 985

For more information and to enrol in any of our other courses please contact us, Smith & Georg, on 1800 991 985 or visit the website at www.smithandgeorg.com.au

How Hazardous is Glyphosate?

How Hazardous is Glyphosate?

Peter Smith

(A report commissioned by Smith & Georg)

Summary

All investigations and reviews show that Glyphosate is a low risk chemical when used as recommended but it can have effects on animal and consequently human health. The most recent review (2015) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (an arm of WHO) concluded that it could be dangerous and is a “probable” cause of cancer. The I.A.R.C. evaluates data collected for previously published peer reviewed studies, stated that “probable means that there was enough evidence to say it is more than possible, but not enough evidence to say that it is carcinogenic.”

In Australia the APVMA concludes that it has no data suggesting any unacceptable risks to human health and the environment and has left previous recommendations unchanged.

In summary as with all potentially harmful substances, we should be vigilant and always be concerned about the possible effects of usage, and should always follow safety directions.

Background                       

Glyphosate is a non-selective systemic herbicide, which in formulations in Australia is most commonly the isopropyl amine salt combined with surfactants. First reported as a potential herbicide in 1971, it was registered by US EPA in 1974 by Monsanto and reregistered at end of patent in 1993. Its major use is as an herbicide but in lower concentrations can be used as a growth regulator and a haying off application for drying crops for harvest. Largest use is as a knock down and post-emergent herbicide on GM glyphosate tolerant crops. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. It is applied in a range of commercial and domestic situations and over 150m L/kg were applied in agriculture in the US in 2014.

In plants (and some microorganisms) glyphosate disrupts the shikimic acid pathway through inhibition of enzymes vital for protein synthesis. Oral, dermal and inhalation acute toxicity are all low and glyphosate was not found to be a skin sensitiser. In humans skin and eye irritation has been reported, accidental ingestions led to mild gastrointestinal effects and inhalation of spray mist may cause oral or nasal discomfort, as well as tingling and throat irritation. Urine samples collected from farmers and forestry workers showed on the day of application of glyphosate 60% had detectable levels of glyphosate of at least 1ppb. Mean concentrations were higher in farmers who did not use gloves during application.

Studies of the hazards of glyphosate both epidemiological, animal models and cell studies all show some variations of risk and health outcomes. Unfortunately many studies and reviews are behind paywalls and it is difficult to get to the funding source, but the Open Source reports and the EPA and APVMA reviews all propose low risk when used “as recommended”. The occasional paper such as “Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via oestrogen receptors”, tend to use in vitro human cells and must be viewed in context of how naked cells may react compared to whole body ingestion either dermally or intestinally. In the most recent studies the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment found in 2014 that glyphosate had neither carcinogenic nor mutagenic properties, or that glyphosate is toxic to fertility, reproduction or embryonal/foetal development in lab animals. However the 2015 International Agency for Research on Cancer review went a step further and stated that Glyphosate could be dangerous and is a “probable” cause of cancer. The IARC stated that “probable means that there was enough evidence to say it is more than possible, but not enough evidence to say that it is carcinogenic.”  Emissions from high-temperature frying, occupational exposure as a barber or hairdresser and exposure to petrol, lead compounds and creosotes are placed in the same category as glyphosate in this study.

Toxicities in Perspective

All chemicals are dangerous and have levels of exposure toxicity. A sensible way to compare chemicals is based on their lethal dose levels. The following table shows Glyphosate is classified as slightly toxic and shows there are many more toxic compounds in everyday life.

Chemical Toxicity Table

Glyphosate formulations are just as important as the glyphosate effects itself. A study in 2009 showed that some inert ingredients in Roundup amplified toxic effect on human cells. One specific adjuvant is POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine – a derivative of animal fat), is found to be more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cells than glyphosate itself. This indicates the adjuvant is not inert and some formulations could cause “cell damage and even death at the residual levels found in Roundup treated crops such as soy bean and maize”. Formulations are protected as trade secrets and manufacturers are not required to publicly disclose them, and although Monsanto is the largest manufacturer of glyphosate based herbicides, other manufacturers sell similar herbicides with different adjuvants. Pressure on the US EPA to change requirements for identifying pesticide adjuvants is growing with a decision due in late 2015.

The APVMA Report in July in 2013 (A Review of the Earth Open Source Report “Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?”) stated

  • For Glyphosate products registered in Australia and used according to label instructions, that it has no data suggesting any unacceptable risks to human health, the environment and trade.
  • There is no scientific justification for classifying glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor.
  • Surfactants in some formulations may have confounded the results of in vitro studies of their effects on hormonal regulation and cellular toxicity.
  • There is no justification to revise the current Australian ADI of 0.3 mg/kg bw/d for glyphosate.

Conclusion

The US EPA review for glyphosate is due to be completed in 2015. I would anticipate that some reference to the IARC report and the current debate, particularly for products using formulations with POEA be implicit in future APVMA recommendations.

About the Author

Peter Smith is an Agricultural Science Teacher of 40 years. Recently retired from Urrbrae Agricultural High School as Assistant Principal in Agriculture, he has been delivering Agricultural Chemical courses for over 15 years as part of Year 12 Agriculture and Certificate III in Ag. He is an executive  member of the Crop Science Society of SA and on the Grains and Fodder Council of the RAHS.

References

Glyphosate Technical Fact Sheet
Miller, A.; Gervais, J.A.;Luukinen, B.;Buhl, K.; Stone, D. 2010

National Pesticide Information Centre
Oregon State University Extension Services
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphotech.pdf

Roundup and birth defects
Antoniou, M.; Mostafa Habib, M.; Howard, C. V.; Jennings, R.; Leifert, C.;Nodari, R.O.; Robinson, C.; Fagan, J. 2011

Open Earth Source
http://www.earthopensource.org/roundup-and-birth-defects

APVMA; A Review of Roundup and birth defects.  2013

Prepared for APVMA by
Scitox Assessment Services.
Canberra ACT

Is glyphosate toxic to humans?
Bodnar, A.  2013

http://www.biofortified.org/2013/10/glyphosate-toxic/

Roundup and Risk Assessment.
Specter, M.  2015

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/roundup-and-risk-assessment

Weed-whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells.
Gammon, C. and Environmental Health News 2009

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/

“The dose makes the poison” in assessing toxic risk.

http://ei.cornell.edu/teracher/pdf/ATR/ATR

Gut-Wrenching New Studies Reveal the Insidious Effects of Glyphosate.
Dr Mercola  2014

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/04/15/glyphosate-health-effects.aspx

 

Foam Markers Are Expensive – Here’s How to Make One Yourself

Foam Markers Are Expensive – Here’s How to Make One Yourself

Here’s the Problem:

You’ve got a boom sprayer; you spray paddocks etc, and you guess where you’ve been by tyre marks, when you can see them.  Hmmm…… sometimes that’s a bit ‘hit & miss’!

Tyre Marks in Paddock
Tyre Marks in Paddock
Boom sprayer
Boom sprayer

But you don’t have a foam marker, and after pricing them you decide that you don’t want to fork out for one.

So you decide to make one: Here’s the way I did it.

Firstly I decided to go ‘single ended’, though this method would work just fine for ‘double ended’.

Then I set about working out the components that I would need to deliver foam to one end of my boom. This does mean spraying ‘in circles’ rather than in rows, but that works for my paddocks. If you want to spray in rows, rather than circles consider the addition of cheap home irrigation 12v solenoid valves to the foam lines on each side so you are not ‘doubling-up’ of foam dobs.

I decided to run the foam line out to the right hand side of the boom, just more comfortable for me, sitting in the tractor following the foam-dobs on my left, with the boom to the right dropping new foam dobs for the next pass – think about this, as one side may suit you better than the other.

Next I set about making a list of parts I had & those I thought I’d need. A foam marker system is made up of a tank, say 10 to 20lt needs to be airtight, but does not need to withstand pressure. You do need to easily be able to ¾ fill it with water and add foaming agent, pump air into it close to the bottom and have an outlet that will take the foam, via a pipe at top of container, to the end of the boom. Simple! I’ve found that with my set up 15lt foam mixture will do about 800lt of spraying.

I also decided that I could use a small 12v compressor I already had (pressie from wife last father’s day!).

For the pipe I decided on 19mm black poly – cheap, lots of fittings available and half a roll at the back of the shed.

There’s the main ingredients, still to sort is the foam accumulator for the end of the boom and power for the compressor; more of that later.

Mounting the system on the sprayer was my next consideration; tank, air compressor and battery – by now I’d decided to use an auxiliary battery.

Have a look at the following pictures to see the assembly process:

Compressor and Water
Compressor and Water
Jerry-can bracket
Old ‘Jerry-can’ bracket

So there’s the start, now a ‘proof of concept’ run:

Hole in water container
8mm hole in water container
Valve in water container hole
Valve in water container hole
Battery connected to water container
Battery connected to water container

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, my first purchase; a tubeless tyre valve, I drilled an 8mm hole in water container, pulled valve through from inside and connected it all up to compressor and battery, added water and foaming agent (had to buy that too, dish-bubbles don’t work!).

Here we go, fire up the compressor and see what happened:

Testing Foam Dobbler
Testing Foam Dobbler
Water container cap
Water container cap

And, what do you know! I got foam! But will it be enough? (26l/m compressor) – So on to next stage – the delivery system to boom end.

As you can see my water container has 2 caps and I have left one for filling/emptying and modified the other so I can fit the hose to deliver the foam to the end of the boom.

The photo shows how I modified the cap. There’s a bit of silicon on the inside and out to help seal the threaded poly, to which, with the addition of a 90o bend, I’ll attach the hose, actually I found a hose from an old washing machine, just the right length, so the black poly won’t be needed.

For a foam accumulator I have used foot valve strainer, over which I put a piece of perforated ag-pipe as you can see in following pictures – It works.

Foam accumulator
Foam accumulator
Ag Pipe
Ag Pipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That works too – good line of foam, but a couple of things still to work on. I will try a larger diameter piece of slotted ag-pipe to see if I can generate fewer, but larger, foam dobs. And I’ll also experiment taking the foot valve strainer off – but it all works as is and may not need changing.

Foam Dobbler
Foam Dobbler Test 1
Foam Dobbler
Foam Dobbler Test 2

With the ‘Foam Dobbler’ mounted and working there are a couple of things that I have learned:

Air Compressor
Air Compressor

The original compressor lasted 20 minutes! Clearly tyre inflator compressors are NOT the right ones for this job – with a bit of research I found a 12v fish tank aerator-compressor. 24/7 duty cycle and 76l/m and it works like a dream – It does draw air in over the motor so I’ve added a cloth filter tied around the end of the motor for dust protection. Many compressors like this are available from well-known internet auction site.

Now to mount all on the boom sprayer:

Mounted Foam Dobbler

 

Don’t let your Chemical Accreditation Expire!

“The online Chemical Accreditation course is very practical and easy to follow. I felt it was the most convenient study option for me. Being online meant that I was able to work through the different stages in my own time.”
Rob K., Grain and beef farmer, NSW.

Enrol in Online Chemical Accreditation

Who Said “If It’s Safe For Animals It Must Be Safe For Me”?

Who Said “If It’s Safe For Animals It Must Be Safe For Me”?

Close scrutiny of product labels reveals information that may be critical to our safety, and that of others.

Let’s have a look at some product labels for commonly used Animal Health Products:

Maverick® – Pour-On for off-shears Sheep – for Lice and Round Worms

Maverick Label FrontMaverick Label Back
Maverick Label Safety Directions

Think about this: If you are shearing and using Maverick® (or other Backliners) do you, or others, come into contact with the sheep while removing them from shearing area or in the yards after shearing? Do other workers understand the safety directions? Do they even know them?

 

Micotil 300 Injection® – for use in lot-fed cattle for treatment of Bovine Respiratory

Moticil

Moticil Excerpt
Here’s a product that requires respect. Safety message is highlighted in red and repeated. There is even a note included for a doctor in case of poisoning.
Check it out; clearly the warnings associated with this product highlight the need for the user to clearly understand that labels contain information that is not simply a ‘guideline’. The label has critical information on protection of the user, others, animals and the environment. It’s a legal document and is to be complied with. Chemical training, as provided by Smith & Georg.

Sheep Dressing

Here is an aerosol sheep dressing, for the treatment of blowfly strike, on short & long wool sheep. Closer inspection of the label reveals that it’s an S7 DANGEROUS POISON – in most states you need to have done our Chemical Accreditation Course to buy and use Schedule 7 Dangerous Poison products.

Sheep DressingSheep Dressing Withholding

Have a read of the withholding period before shearing! Clearly the safety direction are paramount and need to be recorded and conveyed to people who may come in contact with treated stock after the application of this product. So when using this, and similar, products think about that before using: Will you be in a position to know, 6 weeks later, which sheep & where you treated?

 

Vikron S

Here are 2 sources of information for the Disinfectant Virkon S®, on the left is an extract from the product label and on the right is an extract from an Info Bulletin. Clearly the Info Bulletin is correct, but does not address the Label instructions regarding safety. This highlights the need to be vigilant, and to understand that the Label may have compelling information beyond that found from informal sources.

Vikron S Label ExtractVikron S Info Bulletin Extract

I think these 4 labels tell the story:

  • Labels contain important information that affects the safety of users and others.
  • Others may not know of the risk – who is responsible to ensure their safety is jeopardised?
  • Do a chemical Accreditation Course – even if not obliged to be fully accredited Smith & Georg have courses to train you, as a user of chemicals, how to understand labels and safeguard yourself, others, the animals you care for and the environment.

A Reminder About Phosphine (Aluminium Phosphine) (Commonly Fumitoxin, Gastion, Pestex, Phostoxin)

A Reminder About Phosphine (Aluminium Phosphine) (Commonly Fumitoxin, Gastion, Pestex, Phostoxin)

A worker in Victoria became seriously ill after handling aluminium phosphide tablets while not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). The worker was admitted to hospital for treatment.

The company was prosecuted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and fined for failing to maintain a safe working environment.

Background

Aluminium phosphide is an insecticide used to eliminate pests such as weevils in Australian grain and for the control of rabbits in burrows. It is sold under various names including Fumitoxin, Gastion, and Phostoxin.

Aluminium phosphide is a toxic and volatile hazardous substance and is classed as a ‘dangerous good’. Aluminium phosphide tablets react with moisture in the air to give off highly toxic phosphine gas. If not used correctly aluminium phosphide (phosphine) can pose a serious risk to health.

PestexRisks of phosphine in grain transport

  • Phosphine is absorbed into the body by inhalation. The presence of phosphine in loads of grain may create a risk for the following people who may come into contact with the insecticide: transport operator
  • grain depot workers
  • the general public if loads contain phosphine – note that trucks containing phosphine should not ventilate in populated areas
  • emergency services workers if there is a grain spill and the load contains phosphine.

Control measures

Employers must provide and maintain, so far as is reasonably practicable, a workplace for employees, and contractors, that is safe and without risks to health. This includes ensuring: aluminium phosphide is used according to the product label and material safety data sheet (MSDS) from the chemical supplier

  • fumigated grain is fully ventilated prior to being transported
  • aluminium phosphide is never introduced to road transport vehicles (including a truck or road hauled container) ie grain is never fumigated in transit
  • all workers when handling or exposed to aluminium phosphide or phosphine, wear appropriate PPE including a respirator and impervious gloves.

Note that employers may also have duties under the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and associated regulations as aluminium phosphide is classed as a ‘dangerous good’. Also note that legislation administered by other regulatory authorities, such as the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI), may also apply to the use of aluminium phosphide. Further information Department of Environment and Primary Industries – depi.vic.gov.au.

Weed Control Handbook – Review of the New SA Edition – Released July 2015

Weed Control Handbook – Review of the New SA Edition – Released July 2015
Weed Control Handbook 2013
Weed Control Handbook 2013
Weed Control Handbook 2015
Weed Control Handbook 2015

July 2015 saw the re-release of the SA Weed control handbook (other states may offer similar). Dave, the Boss here at Smith & Georg, received a copy and asked me to look it over and see what I thought.

In the words of the editors: “This book provides information on how to control South Australia’s declared plants. The first section of the book provides information regarding declared plants, weed control methods and the important legal, environmental and work health and safety (WHS) considerations when using herbicides for weed control.”

“The second section is a table of treatment options to manage or control these weeds, including rates and application methods of herbicides for each weed. These treatments were compiled with assistance from people with experience in controlling South Australia’s declared plants including Natural Resources Officers, bush regenerators and agronomists. All control methods that involve herbicides are checked annually against the current registered labels and permits.”

“The table lists declared plants in alphabetical order by their common name. Herbicide active ingredients(s) are then listed in alphabetical order for each plant along with the registered or permitted application rate, method and timing, the herbicide’s mode of action and general comments regarding the treatment method. Please note that one example product name has been included for each herbicide; there are often many products with the same active ingredient and users should shop around in choosing a product with the correct active ingredient(s).”

Weeds

So; here we have a very good looking ‘coffee-table’ manual of National and SA weeds, high quality photos to id the weeds, good descriptions and great advice on control; but do we all need a copy? Immediately I saw it I wanted one; but will I, as a small sheep farmer, see so many of these weeds that I need to have one sitting around?

The answer to this, for me, is probably not, but it is a great resource and knowing I can find it online (PIRSA Weed Control Manual) is useful, but not as much pleasure a flicking through the pages though!

Also when I first picked up the handbook I went immediately to look up the weeds that are the scourge of my property – Capeweed, Geranium & Guildford (onion) grass. I was immediately reminded that this handbook is not a coverall and its subtitle ‘FOR DECLARED PLANTS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA’ is the key. So you’ll only find declared weeds here. That’s WoNS (weeds of national significance) and South Australian specifically declared weeds. So back to the ‘Ute Guide for Weeds’ for my weeds!

Weed Infested Phone
My phone is now weed infested!

I’m a mobile phone ‘philistine’, no apps on my semi-smart old LG until now. So out with the specs, polish up the digits; some of you may remember these as the useful apps (appendages) on your hands!

Downloading the Weed Control app was simple, once I’d spent an hour finding how to do it; seems my phone has androids on board and apparently ‘Farm Heroes Saga’ is not about best farmers and their crops – racoons and cropsies??

Anyway the app duly appeared, like magic out of a cloud, installed itself despite my digitations, there it was – small photos (my phone screen is 5cm by 6.5cm) with descriptions and recommendations. But, alas, as with using the online version of the handbook I was left wanting.

So, who needs a copy of the handbook? I would think it’s a resource every NRM office & field staff, Landcare group, council & library will have, agronomy businesses and maybe even rural herbicide resellers and farmer groups (check with your local NRM office). As for the app, I’m not sure, probably if you have a larger screen (think too big for back-pocket) you’ll appreciate the pics, but the description and recommendations do make up, in part, for those misgivings.

The handbook is now installed on my coffee table (as well as my phone!), friends and passers-by look at it in wonderment, pick it up, fondle it and flick through it (sorry boss, if you can’t find your copy, you know where to look!).

Perhaps my next app, now that I’m a guru, will be a ‘ute guide to weeds’, maybe a new phone as well. Watch Gumtree for an orphaned, well chewed paper version and a knackered, well-loved old LG! I’ll keep you posted in the next AgChemNews!

For more info on weeds and pest animals in South Australia you can also visit PIRSA.

Irresponsible Disposal Both Costly and Harmful

Irresponsible Disposal Both Costly and Harmful

Increased scrutiny from consumers and the wider community means responsible waste disposal and good farm environmental management practices are more important than ever if farmers are to maintain consumer confidence.

In June 2015, a Cowra vineyard operator was convicted and fined $15,000 in Orange Local Court and ordered to pay the prosecutor’s costs of $20,000 after pleading guilty to polluting waters on an estate near Orange.

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) prosecuted the operator after the residue from 21 drums, containing the pesticide chlorpyrifos, was emptied into a constructed stormwater drain on the estate in January 2014. The drain flows downwards to Summer Hill Creek.

The operator pleaded guilty to one charge of polluting waters contrary to section 120(1) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997.

Polluted WaterEPA Director Gary Whytcross said, “Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphorus pesticide used to protect crops such as cotton, is highly toxic and poses a significant risk to aquatic life, animals and humans when released into the environment in high concentrations. The EPA prosecuted the operator because his actions posed a real risk of harm to the environment, within a drinking water catchment.”

In another example of irresponsible disposal, the Victorian EPA fined an Echuca man for setting industrial waste on fire on a site not permitted to receive it in June 2015.

EPA officers visited the farm in April after observing thick, black smoke coming from the premises. Upon inspection, the officers found a dam half filled with burning industrial waste, including fencing materials, timber pallets, concrete pipes, irrigation piping, plastic drums and tyres.

Following the EPA investigation, the man was fined $1771 for burning the waste.

The EPA also issued the company, which operates a farming business from the site, with a clean-up notice requiring it remove all remaining industrial waste from the dam and to dispose of it at a licensed facility.

EPA Acting North West Manager Danny Childs said it was important businesses deposited or recycled industrial waste in accordance with regulations.

“EPA takes its role as the environmental regulator very seriously and has high expectations when it comes to the management of industrial waste,” he said.

“This incident should serve as notice to all operators that they need to follow appropriate procedures for disposal of waste and ensure they’re adhered to by those working on site.”

drumMUSTER and ChemClear are perfectly placed to provide Australian farmers with a simple and cost effective way to keep their farms clean and protect the environment.

In the first instance, had the operator in Orange utilised the services of ChemClear, he would have been able to dispose of his chemicals at a significantly reduced cost.

Collection of Group 1 chemicals is free to waste holders due to a levy applied at the point of sale. Alternatively, had the operator registered the chemicals as ‘unknown, unlabelled, expired or no longer registered for use’ (Group 2 eligible), it would have cost him $3500 including freight to dispose of them in a safe manner.

National ChemClear Program Manager Lisa Nixon said, “If the Cowra farmer had registered his obsolete chemicals with ChemClear, he would have had two opportunities in the last two years to have them collected in his local council area”.

In the second case, the operator could have delivered his plastic drums only kilometres away at the Echuca Environment Centre, one of 789 drumMUSTER collection sites available across Australia for the recycling of chemical drums.

drumMUSTER is free to users thanks again to a levy paid on eligible products by participating chemical companies who have signed onto the stewardship program and collect the levy at the point of sale.

National Program Manager Allan McGann said, “Burning and burying stockpiled chemical containers is an outdated practice that no longer has a place in Australian agriculture.”

The overall aim of the programs is to ensure good farm management practices so that quality assurance standards can be met.

We encourage all chemical users to accept their responsibilities to dispose of chemicals and empty containers in an environmentally sustainable manner to protect the environment and avoid legal action and costly fines.

Users of chemicals can find drumMUSTER Recovery sites here: http://drummuster.com.au/find-a-collecion-site/

Lisa Nixon, for ChemClear enquiries can be contacted on 0488 188 149 and Product users, Councils or groups with enquiries regarding drumMUSTER can contact Allan McGann on 0429 409 435.

Manufacturers, brand owners and product importers wishing to find out more information about the drumMUSTER Program should contact Hugh Bygott, National Development Manager, 0419 191 400 or hugh@agstewardshipaustralia.com.au.

Farm Fires