Hi-Cane Safety Information

If you have or think you’ve been exposed to HiCane and have concerns about your health, we encourage you to:

  1. Seek immediate help/advice from your health practitioner.

Once you’ve addressed any immediate health concerns, you should:

  1. Advise your local council.
  2. Lay a complaint with NZKGI’s spray information public line – this will be passed on to Zespri’s compliance team for investigation. You will be informed of the outcome of the investigation.

Where to go for more information: 

  • The HiCane safety data sheet (SDS) is available here.
  • The label is available on NuFarm’s website here.

The information provided in those documents is copied below: 

TOXICITY (humans) – info from Hi-Cane label

  • Toxic – may be fatal if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. May cause organ damage from repeated oral exposure. (Note – the latter is not the case for people who may have been accidently exposed to spray drift).
  • Harmful – severely irritates skin and eyes and may cause sensitisation from prolonged skin contact. May cause reproductive / development damage from repeated oral exposure. (Note – this is not the case for people who may have been accidently exposed to spray drift).
  • In combination with alcohol Hi-Cane may produce a severe unpleasant temporary reaction known as ‘Cyanamide flush’. Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours before and up to 7 days after using Hi-Cane.
  • Symptoms of poisoning: ‘Cyanamide flush’ – skin flushing, dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, rapid pulse, severe skin or eye irritation.

ECOTOXIC (animals and environment) – info from Hi-Cane label

  • Harmful to aquatic organisms. Avoid contamination of any water supply with product or empty container
  • Toxic to terrestrial vertebrates (birds and animals). Do not allow animals to come into contact with spray mist or tank washings. Dogs appear particularly sensitive to Hi-Cane poisoning and must be restrained away from any spray operation. Non-grazing animals should not be exposed to residues on grass for three days and grazing animals for seven days.
  • Toxic to bees. Spray must not contact plants in flower if they are likely to be visited by bees. (Note: Hi-Cane is applied on kiwifruit vines around August before flowers appear on vines.)
  • Beware: Spray drift hazard. Apply this product carefully. Spray drift may cause serious damage to other desirable plants. Casuarina spp., lemons, tamarillos and gum trees are very susceptible. Do not allow drift to occur outside the target area.

First Aid – from Safety Data Sheet

  • First Aid Measures: Remove patient to fresh air. Lay down and keep warm and rested. If breathing is shallow or has stopped ensure airway is clear and apply resuscitation. Seek medical assistance immediately.
  • Inhalation: Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
  • If swallowed do NOT induce vomiting. For advice, contact the National Poisons Centre (0800 764 Ingestion Print Date: 3/07/2017 CS: 1.7.2 CS: 1.7.2 Page: 2 Safety Data Sheet of 6 Infosafe No™ 3NU9T Issue Date :July 2017 ISSUED by NUFARMNZ Product Name :HI-CANE® 766).
  • Seek medical assistance immediately. Immediately flush body and clothes with large amounts of water. Remove contaminated clothing and footwear. Wash affected areas with soap and water. If a large area is affected seek medical assistance.
  • Skin: Flush eyes with plenty of water for 15 minutes holding eyelids open if necessary. Seek medical assistance. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do.

Information for neighbours

  • Keep animals out of the mixing and spraying area
  • Non-grazing animals should not be exposed to any residues on grass in the orchard for three days and grazing animals for seven days
  • Dogs are particularly sensitive to HiCane so keep them tied up and well away from spraying and boundary areas
  • Keep children and pets away from close boundaries
  • Casuarinas, gum trees and lemon trees are particularly vulnerable to Hi-Cane This should not be of concern as a neighbour, as no spray drift should go over the orchard boundaries.