Pesticides are chemicals used to kill or control pests including bacteria, fungi and other organisms, as well as insects and rodents. Many people believe that some pesticides are safe, while others are dangerous. In reality, all chemicals, including all pesticides, have the potential to be hazardous. Even products that are considered low-toxic, natural or organic can be hazardous if someone or something comes into contact with a sufficient amount of the substance.
All pesticides are toxic if the level of exposure is high enough. Therefore, no pesticide is completely safe. Safety is based on each person's level of risk tolerance and is subjective. When talking to the public, consider quickly explaining why it's best to talk about the level of risk.
The chronic toxicity of a pesticide is determined by subjecting test animals to prolonged exposure to the active ingredient. Any harmful effects that occur from small doses repeated over a period of time are called chronic effects. Some of the potential chronic effects of exposure to certain pesticides include birth defects, tumor production, blood disorders, and neurotoxic effects (nerve disorders). The chronic toxicity of a pesticide is more difficult to determine by laboratory analysis than acute toxicity.
What is a pesticide? What is a pest? How can pesticides benefit? How can pesticides be harmful? What household products may contain pesticides? What Are the Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning? How to reduce the risk of pesticide poisoning? Are there any regulations for the use of pesticides? How can we properly dispose of old pesticides? Are there natural alternatives to chemical pesticides? What if you suspect someone is poisoned with pesticides? Additional Resources. Researchers encourage non-chemical control measures indoors; therefore, in an IPM approach to vector control, pesticides play a role as a general pest control device.
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