Government of Nova Scotia Government of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia, Canada


Pests and Pesticides

Pesticide User Storage

Part I - Guide

Part IV, Section 22 of the Pesticide Regulations deals with "User Pesticide Storage Facilities" and applies to situations where more than 25 litres or more than 25 kg of commercial or restricted class pesticides are stored for use but not for resale.

A user pesticide storage facility must meet the following minimum standards:

  1. Pesticides must be stored in a facility that will prevent uncontrolled release of the pesticide into the environment.
  2. A clearly visible, weatherproof sign (see Figure 1), bearing the words WARNING - CHEMICAL STORAGE - AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY must be affixed to the outside of all doors leading into the pesticide storage facility.
  3. A clearly visible, weatherproof sign bearing the text shown below must be clearly displayed on the outside of all doors leading into the pesticide storage facility (see Figure 1).
  4. Emergency Telephone Numbers:

    Fire Police or Medical Emergency 911
    Environmental Emergency Number
    (for spills and other environmental emergencies) 1-800-565-1633
    Nova Scotia Poison Information Centre 911

    A copy of these telephone numbers should be kept by all telephones for immediate reference.

  5. The storage area should be posted with “No Smoking” signs. Signs shall have black lettering not less than 50mm high with a 12 mm stroke on a yellow background. A symbol of not less than 150 mm by 150 mm is permitted in lieu of lettering.
  6. The building/storage area must be secured to prevent unauthorized access.
  7. Pesticides should always be stored in their original, labelled containers.
  8. The pesticide storage area or building should ONLY be used for storing pesticides and pesticide measuring equipment.
  9. Pesticides must be stored separately from flammable materials (e.g. other farm chemicals such as paints, lubricants, solvents etc). Flammable and combustible liquids should not be stored within 1.5 metres of pesticides.
  10. Pesticides must be stored separately from all food, animal feed, veterinary supplies, seed and personal protective equipment and should be stored separately from fertilizers.
  11. The building/storage area should be insulated, and maintained at temperature and moisture levels consistent with the product requirements.
  12. Herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides must all be separated within the pesticide storage area.
  13. A list of the pesticides stored in the facility and an estimate of the quantities normally held in storage must be available for the chief of the local fire department. The fire department must have vehicle access to the storage building.
  14. Accumulation of combustible waste in the pesticide storage area is prohibited.
  15. The storage site must be equipped with emergency equipment including a first aid kit, appropriate personal protective equipment, a sufficient quantity of absorbent material (e.g. spill pillows, kitty litter, sawdust etc.) and spill clean-up equipment such as a shovel, bags, plastic lined containers etc.
  16. Spills are to be cleaned up and immediately reported to Environmental Emergencies Number (1-800-565-1633).


    Reportable Quantities
    Concentrate 5 kg or 5 litres
    Mix 70 litres

  17. Any material, including absorbent and contaminated pallets , which comes into contact with a pesticide must be disposed of by the owner in accordance with Nova Scotia Department of the Environment & Labour (NSDEL) instructions. The nearest NSDEL office should be contacted for guidance related to disposal of specific materials.
  18. Other regulations, laws and codes, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Regulations and National Fire Code, may apply to the user pesticide storage facility. It is the responsibility of the proponent to ensure that the facility is in compliance with all other applicable regulations, laws and codes.
Sign -'Warning - Chemical Storage'
Chemical Storage Sign
Colour: yellow with black lines and text

Minimum outside dimensions:
Sign: 30 cm x 30 cm
Octagon: 28 cm x 28 cm

Text style: bold, sans serif font

Minimum text size:
“WARNING” and “CHEMICAL STORAGE” 2.5cm high letters “Authorized ...”1.3cm high letters

Emergency telephone number text may be placed on warning sign below the octagon. Text must appear in 1.3cm high letters or larger.

Part II - Recommendations

Pesticides that are not stored safely present a hazard to people, animals and the environment. The following are recommended best management practices for pesticide storage. Please note that these are recommendations. They may not be applicable to all types of storage.

The Storage Building

  1. The quantity of pesticides normally stored will determine the size and type of pesticide storage needed. Small quantities of pesticides may be stored in a locked metal cabinet or enclosed, locked area against an outside wall, on the ground floor of an existing building. A separate building may be required for storing larger quantities of pesticides.
  2. The total decontamination of a pesticide storage is virtually impossible. This will limit what the area can be used for in the future. Select a storage area that will be accommodate the long terms plans for the building.
  3. The storage should not be located within 30 m of the bank of any watercourse or in an area where runoff from the site can contaminate surface and ground water or wells in the event of accidents or fire.
  4. Proper ventilation is essential. Volatile fumes escaping from pesticide containers can buildup in the storage area and surrounding building. The building/storage area should have no windows and should be ventilated to the outside.
  5. The floor of the storage areas should be made of an impermeable material with a sill or dyke at the entrance to contain small spills inside the storage area.
  6. Concrete and wood surfaces such as floors walls and shelves should be sealed with epoxy paint to help prevent the absorption of pesticides.
  7. Storage shelves or racks should be constructed of a material which is easily cleaned, non-absorbent and non-combustible. Shelves should have a lip to contain any small spills/leaks that may occur.
  8. Pesticide containers, especially containers that have been opened, should be placed in a secondary container such as a large plastic “boot” trays or aluminum trays and then placed on the shelves. This helps to contain any small spills or leaks and prevents them from contaminating surfaces or ruining other products in the storage.

Organizing the Storage

  1. Products should be organized by group (e.g. herbicide, fungicide, insecticide) and by type of product (e.g. dry and liquid formulations). Dry products should be stored above liquid products to prevent cross contamination in the event of small spills or leaks.
  2. Granular and dry pesticides packaged in bags, fibre drums, boxes or other water permeable containers should be stored off the floor on pallets or metal shelving.
  3. Metal pesticide containers that are to be stored for extended periods of time should be stored on wooden pallets to reduce the potential for corrosion and leakage.
  4. Open containers should be securely re-sealed after use and stored upright on shelves.
  5. Open bags of dry pesticides (e.g. dust, granules, WP) should be sealed inside a second clear plastic bag to prevent accidental spills and protect the material from moisture and thereby reduce caking.
  6. Rodent baits should be separated from other pesticides in storage or in the storage area to ensure they don’t pick up offensive odours and become unattractive to the pests.

Shelf Life

  1. Purchase only what you need for the season and store the least amount of pesticide possible.
  2. Read and follow the label directions regarding storage conditions. Some products have special storage requirements. Providing the proper storage conditions helps prolong product shelf life and protect human health and the environment. Even under normal storage conditions, most pesticides have a shelf life of 2-3 years before they begin to break down and loose their effectiveness. Consult your manufacturer for specific information about the products that you use.
  3. Mark each container with the date of purchase and ensure the oldest packages are used first.

Preparing for Emergencies

  1. When you purchase a new pesticide, read the emergency information on the product label so you can deal quickly and safely with any emergency that may arise.
  2. Make an emergency response folder and keep it in a separate location away from the pesticide storage. The folder should include; a copy of all pesticide labels, Material Safety Data Sheets, a current list of products and average quantities stored and a floor plan of the building that pesticides are stored in. Note the location of any drains in the building, the direction of runoff from the building and the location of any wells or water supplies in relation to the floor plan.
  3. Ensure wash-up facilities including eye wash, sink and emergency shower, are available at the storage site.
  4. One or more 4a20bc dry chemical fire extinguishers should be placed in and around the building/storage area. NOTE: AN INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT PROTECTION SHOULD NOT FIGHT A PESTICIDE FIRE, USE OF THE EXTINGUISHER IS ONLY FOR CONTROLLING FIRES NEAR THE STORED MATERIALS.