Pesticide Poisoning


Pesticide Poisoning In Your Home


pesticide poisoning

Pesticides and your health

Pesticides can be solid, liquid, powder or spray and this will change the method of exposure.


You can be affected by pesticide if you:

  • Swallow a pesticide
  • Handle a pesticide then eat, drink or smoke
  • Eat food that has been exposed to a pesticide
  • Have skin contact with a pesticide by touching treated surfaces etc
  • Breath in pesticide via vapors, sprays or dusts
  • Have direct contact with your eyes via pesticide over spray, or rubbing your eyes after having contact with a pesticide.


Signs And Symptoms Of Pesticide poisoning

  • Poisoning can be acute (Symptoms appear quickly after a single exposure)
  • or chronic (Symptoms appear gradually after repeated exposures)


Acute pesticides poisoning

Symptoms of acute poisoning may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Excess saliva
  • Excessive eye watering
  • Blurred vision
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea


In more severe cases of acute poisoning

  • Heart rate changes
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Twitching and muscular weakness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Constricted pupils
  • Incontinence
  • Seizures and unconsciousness


Chronic poisoning from pesticide

Symptoms of chronic poisoning may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Concentration problems
  • Memory problems
  • Feeling generally unwell


The type, intensity and duration of symptoms you have will depend on:

  • The concentration and type of pesticide used
  • The amount of exposure
  • The age and health of the exposed person


Anyone can be affected by pesticide exposure but unborn children, pregnant women, nursing women and the elderly are at higher risk.


Pesticide poisoning – Treatment

  • Call an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency room
  • Try to establish what the poison is, the type of exposure and the amount of exposure
  • Contact your local poisons information center and follow instructions
  • Do not induce vomiting or give anything by mouth unless advised to by the poisons information center
  • If the patient becomes unconscious follow the unresponsive patient protocol. Write down the name of the pesticide, how and when exposure occurred.


Things to remember

  • Consider alternative methods of pest removal
  • Always use a pesticide designed for the pest you want to treat.
  • Always read the label and follow user instructions
  • Use the smallest amount possible
  • If you have any signs and symptoms of poisoning seek professional medical help immediately
  • Do not mix pesticides
  • Always store pesticides in the original container
  • Make sure the containers are sealed, locked and stored out of reach of children
  • Make sure traps and baits are not placed in areas accessed by your children or your pets
  • Wear the appropriate protective clothing when using pesticides e.g. gloves
  • When using a pesticide do not eat, drink or smoke
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after use


When Using Pesticides Remember To:

  • Cover fish tanks and bird cages
  • Relocate pets
  • Cover food and all utensils
  • Wash all hard surfaces before use (kitchen counter tops)
  • Try not to spray areas commonly touched by people (the tv, lounge etc)
  • Leave the room after spraying and return when the pesticide has taken effect – open all windows