Kenya: Information on re-entry time in greenhouse production

The re-entry time (RET) (or re-entry period/interval) is defined as the minimum amount of time that must pass between the time a pesticide was applied to an area or crop and the time that people can go into that area without protective clothing and equipment.

Re-entry times are set by the standards to protect people against poisoning by pesticides if they enter a treated area too soon after application without proper protective equipment. The entry is restricted to prevent personsfrom coming into contact with a pesticides which reach them by inhalation to vapours, dusts or mists; skin contact of residues, eye exposure to vapours, dusts or mists, or by rubbing your eyes with your hand, a glove or clothing that is contaminated with pesticide residue, or by ingestion (eating food that has been treated or eating without first washing hands). There is also possibility of contamination when treated plants are touched during work activities such as weeding, thinning, or brushing against plants, some pesticide may be transferred to skin. Workers in a field can also cause residues on plants and on the soil surface to “fly up” as a dust – the dust settles on the worker’s skin and/or is inhaled. People in treated areas may also breathe fumes (vapours) from a recent pesticide application.

During the KFC Certification Committee meeting held on 4th September 2013 the members recommended that since a number of the reviewed farms were found not to have complied with this restricted interval hours; information on how the farms should ensure compliance need to given to the farms.

Where can the producer find restricted intervals information?

  1. The label on the pesticide container provides information on the re-entry times. A pesticide container label consists of several panels of information. If all the information will not fit on these container panels then this extra information may be found in a separate booklet. There could also be stickers, tags, seals, leaflets, brochures and wrappers on, or attached to a container.
  2. All KFC registered farms are provided with a List of Approved Plant Protection Products as soon as the list is revised by the Pest Control Products Board from time to time. The list provides the trade name, active ingredient, supplier, PCPB approval number, WHO Toxicity Classification based on the ActiveIngredient; the recommended Restricted entry interval hours among other information. It is good to inform the producers thatthe listed WHO classification of the Plant Protection Products is based on the toxicity of active ingredients not by formulation.The WHO classification by actives is also followed by the major international standards. KFC has recommended all farms to follow the REI as listed in the list of approved products sent to them from time to time.

How can the producer adhere to the restricted interval hours?

  1. The producer must train the staff responsible for ensuring compliance with REI on why it is necessary to comply with this requirement.
  2. A detailed procedure should be prepared and displayed inform workers on how to comply.
  3. The REI boards placed at the greenhouse and fields are completed as required using the correct information during each spray session.
  4. No entry without PPE to the treated areas is allowed until the designated hours over.
Source: Kenya Flower Council

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