Pesticide Poisoning-Effects, Precautions And Treatment.
Pesticides are chemical poisons used to kill certain plants (herbicides), fungi (fungicides), insect (insecticides) or other animals like rat poison. In recent years, the increasing misuse of pesticides has become a very big problem in many developing countries.
These dangerous chemicals can cause severe health problems. They can also damage the balance of nature which in time can lead to smaller harvests.
EFFECTS OF PESTICIDES
Many pesticides are extremely dangerous; people staying in remote areas often use these pesticides without knowing their risks and how to protect themselves when they are using them.
- Many persons becomes very ill after using them.
- Inappropriate use of these pesticides can lead to blindness.
- The person can become sterile.
- The person can as well get paralyzed.
- The children of these people making use of these pesticides can suffer birth defects.
- You can get cancer when you are consuming the food these chemicals are being sprayed on.
Chemicals used to kill insects and weeds at first allow farmers who can afford them to produce more crops. But in recent times, pesticide treated crops often produce smaller harvests than crops produced without pesticides. This happens because pesticides also kill some beneficial animals like birds, bees, earthworms and insects that provide a natural control of pests and benefits to the soil.
Also, as the insects and weeds become resistant, greater quantities and more poisonous kinds of pesticides are needed. So once farmers begin to use these chemical poison, they become dependent on them.
As farmers dependency on chemical pesticides and fertilizers goes up, so does the cost. When the smaller and poorer farmers can no longer afford them, they are forced off the land. As the land becomes owned by a few giant farmers, more and more people become landless, the number of malnourished and hungry people increases.
RISKS OF PESTICIDES POISONING
The risk of pesticides poisoning is very high for these landless and poorly paid farm workers and their families.
- It is harmful for many who live in open shacks at the edge of the fields that are sprayed with pesticides.
- The poison can easily get into their homes or water supply.
- The spray of these pesticides is dangerous especially for little children who can be harmed by very small amount of the poison.
- Farmers who use backpack sprayers which often leak are also at risk.
Laws are needed to prohibit the most dangerous pesticides and to provide clear warnings. Unfortunately, after governments in industrialized countries limited the use of many pesticides, chemical manufacturers began to sell their dangerous pesticides to developing countries where laws are less strict.
LIST OF DANGEROUS PESTICIDES
- Ethylene dibromide (EDB)
- Agent orange (2-4D with 2-4-5T)
- Camphechor (toxaphene)
- Pentachlorophenyl (PCP)
It is important to read carefully the labels of the pesticide containers; be sure that you read the small print because the pesticide may not be part of the brand name.
- Mix chemicals and load spray carefully
- Make sure you stand so that wind will blow away the spray
- Make sure you wear protective clothing covering the whole body
- Wash your hands thoroughly before eating
- Wash your whole body and change your cloth immediately after spray
- Do not let wash water get into water supply
- Wash cloths after spraying
- Make sure that containers with pesticides are clearly marked and kept out of the reach of children
- Do not use pesticides containers for food or water
- Make sure that women who are pregnant or breast feeding stay away from all pesticides
TREATMENT FOR PESTICIDES POISONING
- If the person is not breathing, quickly do mouth to mouth breathing.
- Make the person vomit or give powdered charcoal or egg whites to soak up the poison inside the gut.
- Do not make the person vomit if you do not the kind of pesticide he or she was using or maybe he or she swallowed a pesticide with gasoline, kerosene, xylene, or any other petroleum based liquid.
- Remove any pesticide soaked clothing and wash the body exposed to pesticide