If you work in agriculture, you may have to transport and use pesticides on a regular basis. But do you know what to do if these hazardous products leak or spill?

Since accidents can happen to anyone, find out how to respond appropriately when dealing with a pesticide spill. This will help reduce the harmful effects on the environment.

What procedure to follow in the event of a pesticide spill

When pesticides or other hazardous materials spill, it’s vital to act quickly to prevent them from spreading. This involves rapidly assembling an emergency team and coordinating a fast and effective response. 
While waiting for help, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the damage caused by a pesticide spill.

For small spills

If you have a small spill and the pesticide is not considered a hazardous material, contain the liquid by surrounding it with absorbent material. Once used in this way, the material will be considered pesticide waste. However, you can still dispose of it along with the rest of your household garbage after covering it with a thick layer of absorbent material such as litter or newspaper.

Once the pesticide has been contained, seal it in a plastic bag and then place it in a garbage bag. Do what you can to prevent it from coming into contact with water, and do not attempt to use water to dilute the spilled pesticide.

For large spills

If the pesticide spill is sizeable, check whether the product in question is on the list of pesticides classified as hazardous materials. If it is on the list, you must either contact a company that specializes in the disposal of hazardous materials or have MELCC authorization to recycle or dispose of it yourself.

If your residential property is contaminated, it will need to be excavated and treated as pesticide waste. The landowner must notify the registry office, since the contamination poses a significant environmental and health risk. The landowner is required to have the pesticide spill decontaminated or contained and implement more restrictive measures for further pesticide use.

Contacting an environmental emergency management company

Regardless of the size of the pesticide spill, it’s vital to call an emergency spill response service in order to ensure the safety of the local population and wildlife.

A qualified team will be dispatched to help you immediately and will be responsible for implementing a thorough hazardous waste management strategy. The technicians on the team have special equipment and all the necessary certifications and training to handle the situation and limit the damage.

Informing provincial authorities

In the event of a pesticide spill, it’s also a good idea to notify Urgence-Environnement Québec. As part of the Ministère de l’Environnement, the organization acts as a technical advisor throughout Quebec to minimize the consequences of environmental emergencies. You can reach them at any time, free of charge. 


Protect your soil and health from the pesticide spill while waiting for the emergency response unit

Although the environmental emergency unit’s response time is usually very fast, you may be in a remote or hard-to-reach area. While waiting, you can try to prevent the spill from spreading further to mitigate the negative effects of the pesticides on the soil and surrounding environment.

Try using absorbent materials like sand, soil or sawdust to prevent the pesticides from spreading.
Note that once the materials come into contact with pesticides, they are considered hazardous materials (pesticide waste) and must be handled and treated as such.

Contact Enviro Urgence for pesticide spill management

When dealing with a pesticide spill or leak, the most important thing is to react quickly. Contact the right people immediately rather than trying to manage the situation yourself, which can prove dangerous.

If you are faced with a pesticide spill, contact us without delay. Enviro Urgence’s teams will act quickly and efficiently and will be able to advise you on which steps to take.