&EPA
United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
Office of Enforcement
& Compliance Assurance
Washington, DC 20460
EPA305-F-98-017
September 1998
vwwv.epa.gov
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                                                                     Ag Center
                                                                             Helping Agriculture Comply with
                                                                             Environmental Requirements
               FOCUS
           O  N
                        Closed  Systems
                        The Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation issued by the U.S.
                        Environmental Protection Agency in 1992 and amended in 1995. It covers pesticides that are
                        used in the production of agricultural plants on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses.  The
                        WPS requires you to take steps to reduce the risk of pesticide-related illness and injury if you (1)
                        use such pesticides, or (2) employ workers or pesticide handlers who are exposed to such
                        pesticides.
                        This fact sheet will help you understand how
                        people from pesticide exposure when they are
                        application.


                        What is a closed system?
                        Closed systems are systems designed by
                        the manufacturer to enclose the
                        pesticide to prevent it from contacting
                        handlers or other people while it is being
                        handled. Such systems must function
                        properly and be used and maintained in
                        accordance with the manufacturer's
                        written operating instructions.
                                      to comply with WPS requirements for protecting
                                      A.sing a "closed system" for mixing, loading, or
                                            Examples of closed systems
                                            Examples of closed systems include:
                                              closed mixing/loading systems,
                                              closed application systems designed
                                               to incorporate pesticides into soil,
                                               but only if the system does not allow
                                               any pesticide contact with the air
                                               throughout the entire application
                                               process,
                                              water-soluble bags while the bag is
                                               intact.

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These exceptions to
PPE are allowed
unless expressly
prohibited by product
labeling.
PPE can be reduced
You may allow handlers to omit some of
the personal protective equipment (PPE)
listed on the pesticide labeling for a
handling task if the handlers are using a
closed system.


Even when reduced PPE is permitted to
be worn during a task, handlers must be
provided all PPE required by the
pesticide labeling for that task and have
it immediately available for use in an
emergency.


PPE for mixing or loading
When using a closed system to mix or
load pesticides with the signal word
"DANGER" or "WARNING," handlers
need not wear all the PPE listed on the
pesticide labeling, but must wear  at least:
    long-sleeved shirt and long pants,
    shoes and socks,
    a chemical-resistant apron, and
    protective gloves specified on the
    pesticide labeling for mixing,
    loading, and other handling tasks.


When using a closed system to mix or
load pesticides with the signal word
"CAUTION," handlers need not  wear
all the PPE listed on the pesticide
labeling, but must wear at least:
    long-sleeved shirt and long pants,
    and shoes and socks.


PPE for other handling tasks
When using a closed system to do
handling tasks other than mixing and
loading with ANY pesticide, handlers
need not wear all of the PPE listed on
the pesticide labeling, but must wear at
least:
    long-sleeved shirt and long pants,
    and shoes and socks.


Such closed systems might include
closed application systems designed to
incorporate pesticides into soil, but only
if the system does not allow any pesticide
contact with the air throughout the
entire application process.


Eye protection
When using a closed system that
operates under pressure, handlers may
wear the reduced PPE specified above,
but must add protective eyewear.
                          Ag Center Fact Sheet Series
                          Agrichemicals/WPS - Closed Systems
                                                                             Page 2

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 Agrichemicals
The Ag Center
welcomes comments
on this document
and its other
services.
For more information
You can get more facts about
compliance by calling the Ag Center's
toll-free number. Materials can be sent
to you by fax or mail, or you can talk to
an Ag Center representative. For a list
of all publications available from the Ag
Center, request document number
10001, "Ag Center Publications."
                           National Agriculture Compliance
                           Assistance Center
                           901 N. 5th Street
                           Kansas City, KS 661 01

                           Toll-free:    1-888-663-2155
                           Internet:    www.epa.gov/agriculture
                           Fax:       913-551-7270
                                   United States Environmental
                                   Protection Agency
                                   Washington, DC 20460
                         Ag Center Fact Sheet Series
                                                                            Page 3

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