How to use chemical products safely

Chemicals are usually safe when used by responsible operators who follow the manufacturer's instructions.

You can only use products that are registered for use in the Northern Territory (NT) by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) or under a permit issued by the authority. 

The labels, which contain the instructions for safe use of the product, are also approved by the authority.

Visit the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website to see registered labels and for more information about chemical products, their uses and safe use.

Read the Code of practice for handling pesticides.

Follow the directions on the label

Pesticides that are not restricted can be used by anyone, but you must use them according to the directions on the product container's registered label.

Using chemical products incorrectly can be harmful to people, animals, crops and the environment. Incorrect use can lead to immediate health impacts ranging from relatively minor issues to potentially life-threatening conditions.

Using chemicals below-strength

Unless the label directs you otherwise, you can use an unrestricted chemical at strengths below what is stated on the label and in other ways not stated on the label including all of the following:

  • at a lower application rate
  • less often
  • to control a different pest
  • mixed with another substance
  • applying it in a different way.

If a product is registered in the NT, you can use it for any purpose stated on the label, even if a use is meant to be for somewhere else in Australia.

If you use a product in a way that is not stated on the label, it is at your own risk and the manufacturer will not accept liability for any undesirable result you may get.

Get training

If you regularly use agricultural chemicals, consider getting trained in their use and handling through a ChemCert or SMARTtrain or equivalent national chemical accreditation course to AQF level three. 

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Last updated: 28 November 2017