A pesticide is any chemical used to destroy, repel, or manage certain types of plant and animal life that are regarded as pests. Pesticides consist of herbicides for eliminating weeds along with other undesirable vegetation, insecticides for managing a multitude of bugs, fungicides used to eliminate the development of molds and mildew, disinfectants for controlling the spread of bacterias, and compounds used to regulate mice and rats.
Due to the widespread usage of agricultural chemical substances in food manufacturing, individuals are exposed to low degrees of pesticide residues via their diets. Researchers do not yet have a precise understanding of the health consequences of these pesticide residues. The outcome from the Agricultural Health Study, a continuing study of pesticide exposures in farm families, indicates that farmers who utilized agricultural insecticides encountered an increase in head aches, exhaustion, sleep problems, dizziness, hand tremors, along with other neurological symptoms. Evidence indicates that children are especially vulnerable to adverse effects from contact with pesticides, including neuro developmental effects. People can also be subjected to pesticides utilized in a number of settings including residences, academic institutions, hospitals, and places of work.
Pesticides are made to poison and kill. Most are developed to work on the nervous and reproductive systems of pests by disrupting regular functions – functions which are shared by humans. Contact with pesticides could cause both short and long-term health problems, based on the chemical and the type of the exposure.
Acute, high-dosage exposures in humans can lead to symptoms in humans which are similar or equivalent to those induced in the target pest. Prolonged contact with pesticides, even at minimal levels, is called chronic exposure. As time passes, a person who is regularly subjected to pesticides, even in tiny doses, may experience significant health problems, including fatigue, neurological disorder, major depression, elevated chemical sensitivity, persistent cough, and a few forms of cancer.
- For children, regular contact with pesticides can significantly damage cognitive abilities and lower IQ.
- Pregnant women are especially vulnerable for such effects as birth defects and reproductive problems.
- The consequences of chronic exposures might not appear for years, and so are usually very hard to trace to particular exposures.
- Children face a much greater risk from pesticide exposure.
- Research at the University of Washington discovered that 99% of kids tested had detectable degrees of organophosphate pesticides within their bloodstreams.
- Children of mothers that frequently used pesticides outside their house were 9 times more prone to develop leukemia.
- Over 300 pesticides are permitted for use on food; over 60 are identified or suspected to cause cancer.
- 55% of the life-time risk from contact with cancer-causing pesticides applied to fruits and vegetables is received by age 6.
- As many as 6,200 of preschool children are expected to acquire cancer from pesticide exposure.