Fluorescent Tracer Technique

Fluorescent Tracer Technique: Hands-on Learning for Pesticide Safety Education

Hands under black light.
Fluorescent tracer glows under black light, Photo by R. Fenske

The Manual |The DVD | Fact Sheet (pdf) | Other Resources

The Fluorescent Tracer Technique

The Fluorescent Tracer (FT) Technique was developed for pesticide applicator safety education, training, and self-evaluation. It was designed for pesticide safety educators, including agricultural extension agents, integrated pest management trainers, farm supervisors, safety managers, and anyone interested in teaching safe farming practices. The technique is a powerful tool for showing pesticide contamination and for helping workers evaluate their practices and protective equipment. Quick demos and hands-on activities make learning fun and memorable - seeing is believing!

What is Fluorescent Tracer?

Fluorescent tracer is a non-toxic chemical used to mimic pesticide contamination on skin, clothing, and surfaces. Under normal lighting, when mixed, diluted and applied (like pesticides) it cannot be seen. Under a blacklight tracer is visible and can reveal areas of potential exposure.

The Manual

fluorescent tracer manual covers

The fluorescent tracer manual is a convenient quick reference tool as well as a complete guide for the use of fluorescent tracer in pesticide safety training. The manual is available in Spanish and English.

The manual contains:

  • complete educational package
  • key messages
  • step-by-step instructions
  • supply lists
  • tips on use

The fluorescent tracer technique provides immediate visual feedback, promotes discussion, and transcends language and literacy barriers.

Download a free copy of the manual in Spanish or English from this site (3.1MB pdf).

pesticide safety trainer quote, "This is one of the most powerful training tools that I have encountered, because the message is clear and it is shocking."


This DVD contains instruction on preparing FT for demonstrations, and tips for the set up of training areas and dark rooms. Chapters feature two quick demonstrations and an airblast application. This DVD is great tool for instructors and applicators alike.

Video Segments on YouTube

The DVD is a part of the Fluorescent Tracer Kit and it can be viewed online at U.S. Ag Centers' collective YouTube channel. See the Pesticide Safety playlist.

Other Resources