Lime Sulfur Respiration?

superpoutyduck(9a)March 20, 2014

What kind of respirators are you using when mixing and applying lime sulfur? I just bought some and am paranoid from all the warnings and reports of suicide. The TC21C respirators that I see recommended by OSHA I are $800+

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ericwi

Lime sulfur is also known as calcium pentasulfide. It is caustic, and will burn exposed skin. Eye protection is indicated. The solution is an insecticide and also a fungicide. The solution is also damaging to foliage. I have never used this on our blueberry shrubs. However, if I did, I would be spraying on a breezy day, and I would be staying upwind at all times.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:19AM
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steve_in_los_osos

First, don't spray on a breezy day.

The rest depends on how much you are spraying and how. You need to wear a long-sleeved shirt (something you don't care about if you are going to be spraying a lot) and pants, old shoes. Goggles would be a plus. Any ordinary respirator mask should be fine unless you find yourself engulfed in clouds of spray in the middle of a large tree. The key is to not spray willy-nilly in every direction. A sprayer with a somewhat coarse output would be better than a fine one. If your trees are not large and/or you have the patience, consider a manual hand sprayer (which is what I use). You have more control over it and can focus the smaller spray where you want it.

Don't panic. People have been using lime-sulfur for many, many years and--not that I'm suggesting it--with probably less protection than we now expect. Your eyes are the most important thing to protect, followed by your lungs. The rest you can wash off.

That said, I've used lime-sulfur for years on a small scale (always with a hand sprayer) and have never used any kind of mask. YMMV.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:35AM
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superpoutyduck(9a)

Thanks for the input gang. It's for pear blister mites, none of the other dormant oils have been effective. I read Scott and some others say they had great success with Lime Sulfer. The trees are small (under 7 feet), and there are only about two dozen. I will get a normal particulate respirator and some good goggles, and make sure not to spray on a windy day. I will be using a hand pump sprayer.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 1:04PM
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sharppa(6)

I just sprayed it on my Asian Pear for the first time also for pear blister mites. The tree is still mostly dormant. The stuff smells like rotten eggs and my clothes afterwards had a slight odor. I used a paint/pesticide respirator plus some goggles. I want to get some sort of full face shield soon to protect my whole face and hopefully prevent fogging in the goggles. I'm sure I got a bit of the spray on me but my skin has not melted off yet.

Weird crazy scary label on that stuff compared to others. "Fatal when absorbed through skin" is a new one for me.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 5:40PM
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jstubbs_gw

As a side note, this seems very difficult to locate as it doesn't seem to be manufactured anymore.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 3:36PM
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superpoutyduck(9a)

Sharppa, glad to see I'm not the only one who got a little bug eyed by it!

Jstubbs, it is, just a bit harder to find since so many people kill themselves with it they tried to eliminate it.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 1:07AM
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jtburton

This was posted on the forum before and it is a good read on lime sulfur (or calcium polysulfide).

Here is a link that might be useful: EPA Review of Calcium Polysulfide (Lime Sulfur)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 8:49AM
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steve_in_los_osos

Just to point out that lime-sulfur is used as a veterinary "pet-dip" (yes, Fido and Fifi get bathed with the stuff) for some skin conditions, so keep things in perspective.

If you are having trouble finding it (I can't get it here in CA), try an on-line pet supply vendor. That's what I did.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:24AM
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superpoutyduck(9a)

Steve, you can get it in CA. I live in CA and ordered it from groworganic.com which is also in CA.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:18PM
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steve_in_los_osos

The last time I checked their catalog they had some sort of restriction on it. I'm just a lowly home grower. I don't have any special permits. Guess I should look again!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 8:41PM
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steve_in_los_osos

The last time I checked their catalog they had some sort of restriction on it. I'm just a lowly home grower. I don't have any special permits. Guess I should look again!
....

Oh yeah....close reading shows its commercial orchards that need pesticide# and Nevada County (CA) residents that can't order it.

But 2.5 gallons.... I'd just never use it up fast enough to justify the cost. It doesn't keep very well. From the vet supply I can get a 16 oz bottle for much less. That lasts me two seasons.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 8:44PM
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