Respiratory exposure is particularly dangerous because pesticide particles can be rapidly absorbed by the lungs into the bloodstream. pesticides can cause serious damage to the nose, throat, and lung tissue if inhaled in sufficient quantities. Vapors and very small particles represent the most serious risks. Most household insect sprays contain plant-based chemicals called pyrethrins.
These chemicals were originally isolated from chrysanthemum flowers and are generally not harmful. However, they can cause life-threatening respiratory problems if inhaled. Take or drag the victim to the open air immediately. If you think you need protection, such as a respirator, and you don't have one available, call the Fire Department and wait for the emergency team before entering the area.
If the victim's skin is blue or the victim has stopped breathing, give artificial respiration (if you know how to do it) and call the rescue service for help. Open doors and windows so that no one else is poisoned by fumes. By understanding the difference in pesticide toxicity levels, a user can minimize the potential hazard by selecting the pesticide with the lowest toxicity that controls the pest. Table 1 shows the pesticides most frequently implicated in poisonings, injuries and illnesses, based on 1996 data from the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.
The effects, or symptoms, of pesticide poisoning can be broadly defined as topical or systemic. All pesticide toxicity values, including the LD50, can be found in the material safety data sheet (MSDS) of the product. In general, the risk of disease increases as the concentration (potency) of the pesticide and the duration (duration) of exposure increase. The hazard, or risk, of pesticide use is the potential for injury or the degree of danger involved in using a pesticide under a given set of conditions.
The chronic toxicity of a pesticide is determined by subjecting test animals to prolonged exposure to the active ingredient. Pesticides with a high LD50 are the least toxic to humans if used according to the instructions on the product label. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctors before working with pesticides, as some pesticides can be harmful to the fetus (unborn baby) or breastfed babies. Certified pesticide applicators or people working with pesticides are encouraged to undergo regular medical check-ups.
Because the risk or likelihood of a problem depends on both the toxicity and the amount of exposure, even low-toxic pesticides can be hazardous if exposure is high. Pesticide products considered moderately toxic (toxicity category II) must have the warning words WARNING and WARNING (their Spanish equivalent) on the product label. Most often, pesticides affect the nervous system (the body's system that controls nerves and muscles). Preventing pesticide poisoning remains a much safer path to safety and health than relying on treatment.
All pesticides have the potential to be harmful to humans, animals, other living organisms and the environment if used incorrectly. For example, several disinfectants are in the top ten, partly because they are found much more frequently in the home and work than other pesticides.