Scotts Fertilizer Safety


Scotts fertilizer is a lawn product that prevents invasive weeds and damaging insects from infiltrating the area while stimulating grass growth. The company from Marysville, Ohio, manufactures a variety of lawn products under its name. Although Scotts lawn fertilizers are labeled Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration because they meet the strict safety guidelines put forth, it is essential to follow the directions and precautions on the product to prevent damage.

Product Handling

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, manufacturers of lawn products, including Scotts, must print a Material Safety Data Sheet on the container that describes the chemical properties of each product, along with possible health effects, reaction to material, handling procedures, storage requirements, first aid treatments and essential procedures in case of inhalation, physical contact, spills or leaks. This sheet warns users to avoid inhaling or ingesting the product, and to avoid direct exposure to eyes, skin and clothing. Users should thoroughly wash hands with warm, soapy water after handling the product, even if wearing gloves. Store the product in a cool, dry area, away from the reach of children and pets.

Product Application

Apply the fertilizer with a spreader to limit direct exposure with it. Scotts suggests that watering the lawn immediately after each fertilizer application is the best method of preventing direct contact with children or pets.

Product Disposal

Disposing the finished product properly is as important as handling it carefully. When the contents of the container are gone, do not toss it out in your garbage can or into a nearby water supply such as a lake, pond or other source of fresh water. Wrap the container securely in a few sheets of newspapers before placing it in a garbage bag. Knot the bag firmly and place it in the trash can. Don't re-use empty containers to hold food or other items.

Health Effects

According to the Data Sheet, the fertilizer contains urea, which is known to be a skin and eye irritant, and causes nausea or vomiting when ingested or inhaled. Also, high concentrations of fertilizer dust, caused by prolonged and repeated use, can result in wheezing, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, shortness of breath and other symptoms of upper respiratory tract irritation. Inhaling large amounts of the fertilizer compounds over a long period severely damages the central nervous system.

Emergency Treatment

Contact the poison control center immediately if any person ingests or inhales the product, or exhibits symptoms that relate to excessive contact with the fertilizer. Flush the eyes with water for 15 minutes in case of contact with the eyes, or hold the eyelids open to wash any fertilizer out with water. Remove contaminated clothing and thoroughly wash skin with soap in case of skin contact.

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