Do You Need to Fear Pesticides?
Pesticides are chemicals used to destroy bugs. There only purpose is to kill. They were not created to nourish plants. These products work by altering the insect’s muscular system and nerves, and many pesticides harm humans. Pesticides and herbicides, which are poisonous chemicals used to kill weeds, are often used together. The Washington Post reported on a Paraquat lawsuit involving an international company and a gardener. The gardener used paraquat, and a jury found the chemical led to his lung condition, pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease that scars the lungs. As the tissue scars, it becomes harder and harder for the person to breathe. The individual’s quality of life is decreased, and the disease may eventually lead to complete respiratory failure. A report from the Mayo Clinic states the cause of this lung disease is long-term exposure to toxins and pollutants. The report also illustrates the scarring process.
What to Avoid
Even though you can purchase home and garden pesticides at most variety or improvement stores, it does not mean they are safe. WebMD advises consumers not to buy pesticides or other household products that are labeled with any of these phrases:
Toxic chemicals can damage vital organs, like the kidney, heart, and liver. The symptoms of pesticide poisonings range from mild irritations, such as:
- Skin and soft tissue irritation
Symptoms will be compounded as exposure to the pesticides increase. Physical conditions, like vomiting, stomach cramps, and exhaustion, are signs of higher levels of exposure, and extreme exposure can lead to uncontrollable twitches, chemical burns, and loss of consciousness.
You can become exposed to these chemicals without even knowing it. Besides unintentionally eating the chemical, the skin can absorb the product, and it can be inhaled into the lungs. To help protect your skin if you think you will be in an area where the pesticide is used where long sleeves and pants. If possible, do not bring the clothing into your home. Put them directly into the washer or dispose of them. Take a shower to remove any residue that has come into contact with your exposed skin. If you will be around any pesticide sprayings, where a high-quality respirator.
To protect yourself from eating the products there are a few things you can do. Buy fruits and vegetables at your local farmers markets and ask the vendor what type of pesticides they use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that you rinse all fruits and vegetable, even those purchased at a farmer’s market. Rinse with clean running water. Wash all fruit even if you are going to peel and throw away the skin because in some cases, like avocados, you will be cutting through the skin into the flesh bringing whatever contaminants are on the surface into the fruit. In situations, such as lemons where the peels are used in cooking, thoroughly scrub the skin with a brush under clean running water.
Chronic poisoning from pesticides can occur with small repeated exposure. The symptoms may be subtle at first and accumulate over time. When seeking medical treatment for any condition, tell your doctor if you have been exposed to pesticides or used pesticides in the past.