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 Kit | 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).

The Kit

You asked for it, we responded!rent or own your own FT kit -banner ad

For years safety trainers have been impressed with the visual impact that fluorescent tracers have during pesticide training sessions in the workplace and in the classroom. In the past there have been financial barriers to acquiring the supplies needed to conduct FT training. This kit is an accessible, easy-to-use option that is within the means of all Washington state employers.

The PNASH Center is happy to present the Fluorescent Tracer Kit, available for purchase or loan. The kit has everything you need to get started with fluorescent tracer training. It contains the FT manual and video. In addition, the kit features tracer, black lights, spray bottles, and measuring supplies.

Purchase: $200
Purchasing the FT kit gets you nearly everything needed to begin conducting your own FT aided training. It includes tracer, a blacklight, the FT Manual, an instructional DVD, as well as mixing, measuring, and safety materials. Enough tracer is included for up to 200 demonstrations.

Monthly (30 day) Rental: $75
Receive a complete FT Kit! If you rent for one month and decide you want to own it, simply pay the difference (see purchase rate above).

Fluorescent Tracer Reload: *TBD
Do you already have a kit but need more tracer? Receive enough tracer to conduct up to 100 “quick demos” as outlined in the FT Manual.

All prices include shipping and handling and represent only the cost of supplies and approximate effort to assemble the materials.

How can I obtain an FT Kit?
To purchase a kit or to order a kit on loan, contact us at pnash@uw.edu, or call (800) 330-0827.

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."

We accept checks made out to the "University of Washington". Unfortunately, we cannot yet accept credit card payments. Please provide a physical shipping address for delivery (No PO Box numbers).

In the coming year our partners in Washington State will also have FT Kits for loan or purchase. Please check back for a list of suppliers.


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