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Safe chemical application and aftercare

Good morning,

Hopefully someone may be able to help me.

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this but we have found it to be more of a issue during lockdown. I look after properties where I apply a selective to the lawns, fertilse them infrequently and herbicide treat hard surfaces for weed control. All of that is fairly standard but where I am getting some feedback is when the signage is removed to declare the grass "safe". It isn't uncomon for chemicals to be blamed for everything under the sun but this seems to be occuring more and more frequently of late. Is anyone else experiencing this?

On each exercise the ground conditions and weather are considered for when the product has dried and the signs are removed but I have realised that this is very much due to experience and the general concesses within the industry and training body; there isn't actually a written guideline from the supplier at any point, for any product, as to how long it takes for it to dry and be "safe". I have been approaced by both sides of the fence now; one being very understanding, patient and appreciative of the conditon of the site. The other being one who states that in other parts of the world it is illegal to put anyone other than water on the ground and that for it to be safe for their dog to go onto the grass there needs to be a waiting period of at least three weeks with routine mowing and heavy rainfall. 

I have tried contacting our supplier a few times but haven't had any response, ultimately I would like to know of something on paper which states the safety restrictions for the public which we can use as a full and supported response to anyone. 

Could anyone offer any advice please?

The products we are currently using are: 

Marathon Allround Fertiliser

Xtend Soluble Fertiliser

Praxys Selective Herbicide

RoundUp ProVantage 480 Herbicide


Thank you.


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  • PRO

    Good post.

    We've been in the same situation, not particularly for private households where you are more in control of the situation, but more when multi-occupant / Developments are involved.

    Unfortunately at this time, too many people are at home with too much time of their hands and become armchair experts and lawyers.

    The only common product between us is Roundup and we do have a guidance card that happy to share (Friend Request me). However, it does not state in absolute terms any 'times' but we've found use of it can stop a situation escalating.

    Other products do have the same, but it's getting them from the producer's tech dept that's a challenge.

    • Thank you Gary,

      Request sent. Armchair experts is a perfect description. 

      The guidance card certainly seems like an improvement, I will keep chasing the producers, it is helpful to know that something of use does exist.

  • PRO Supplier

    The Code of Practice for using Plant Protection Products puts the responsibility solely on you, the person applying pesticides, I'm afraid.... You have to read the product labels and form a risk assessment based on potential danger to people & animals...but as we know unless there are grazing animals, which specifies 7-14 days exclusion, then its up to you. In many cases the labels are non-specific on pets & animals . Assess local conditions, how busy it is, type of people using the area (kids rolling around vs. people walking on paths, etc...) and leave signs up for a number of days according to the level of risk but leaving the area once it is dry is fine IMO... section 3.2.4 covers reading the label and preparing a risk assessment to 'take all reasonable precautions' , section 3.7.4 of the Code covers Public Rights of way and amenity areas not subject to CRoW

    • PRO

      We've been trying for ages to find a source of "Pesticide Flags" similar to those used in the US - any suggested sources, Richard?


    • Thank you.

      My concern is that without the product specifying a drying time how can a risk assessment be confidently produced? We are once again falling back to our professional opinion rather than supported advice from the supplier. Are we looking at now leaving up signs for days at a time when ever an application is made to be confident that the risk has been avoided?  

      • PRO Supplier

        All the years of testing and field trials before a product is released,  is geared towards human health & the environment. Where those two things intersect is such a changeable feast, the manufacturers could never replicate the various ways of potential contamination I suppose.

        Unfortunately it revolves back to the person on the ground for assessing the site specific dangers...there are places where they leave notices up after JKW treatment  in public areas for 7 days afterwards - informing the public that this area has been treated in the past X days - thereby giving people the choice & information whether to walk through that area or not...also, a large national compay treating compounds has had plastic tags printed with the product name and date applied clipped to a gate or fence into the area...

        • PRO

          Any examples around - like the idea of tags and/or zip tie based - presumably filled in via indelible pens ?

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