26 November 1999

Chemical checks urged by HSE

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging farmers to check their chemical stores for out-of-date chemicals.

An HSE investigation into a reported case of ill health has revealed increased risks from using chemicals that have gone past their expiry date.

Investigators found that some organophosphate products break down to compounds which are more hazardous than the original product. This is especially so when the container has been opened and exposed to moisture.

Allan Spence of the HSE said: "While farmers may think that out-of-date chemicals lose strength, the opposite is sometimes true. Some OP dips can become far more poisonous and they should never be used after the expiry date."