While pesticides and fertilizers have made it possible to produce food on a grander scale than ever before, there are some risks. Older pesticides, in particular, can remain in the soil and water for years after their use. DDT (also known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) was in use for years before being banned in most countries. We’ll help you understand the risks of pesticides to your health and how to protect yourself when shopping for produce.
Pesticides And Their Risks To Our Health
While modern pesticides are not identified as being culpable in causing cancer or other genotoxic mutations, it pays to be careful. Limiting your exposure to them is the only way to ensure that you’re kept safe. Coming into contact with large amounts of pesticides can be a serious health concern. Thankfully, this isn’t usually possible through the consumption of food from your produce section. However, it remains a risk for those employed in agricultural industries.
Some Important Facts About Pesticides:
- Fungi, weeds, insects, and other pests are prevented from harming crops with pesticides.
- Chronic and acute health issues can result from exposure to pesticides in large enough quantities.
- Older pesticides can remain in the water and soil for years after their use. While banned in the majority of countries, some developing countries still use them.
- Those at greatest risk from pesticide exposure are those who work in agricultural industries or with home gardens. They are also used to eliminate pests in the home.
- Yields from crops are significantly increased through the use of pesticides. This is a critical point for countries prone to food shortages.
- Over 1000 pesticides are in use throughout the world, protecting food from pests. Each one has a different set of effects and properties.
One undeniable fact regarding pesticides is their involvement in unintentional self-poisoning cases throughout the world. While essential, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that they work by being toxic. In order to function, they have to be spread deliberately throughout an area. Even the production and distribution of pesticides provide ample opportunity for exposure.
Prevention and Control of Pesticides
In order to successfully protect your home and family from pesticide exposure, there are a few important steps you can take. The first is proper storage and containment of pesticides to prevent unintentional exposure. Always wear appropriate protection while spreading pesticides throughout your garden or home. While spreading pesticides, be certain that those who aren’t involved with the treatment are moved away from the site. Be very certain to wash your hands after using them, and stay away from treated areas for at least 24 hours before entering them again.
Speak To Your Physician For More Tips
Your physician is well acquainted with the consequences of pesticide exposure. Just like any poison, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Your physician may have other suggestions as well. These may include safe and organic methods of treating your plants or steps to protect your family while using traditional pesticides. If you think you’ve been exposed to dangerous amounts of pesticide, make an immediate trip to the emergency room.