A Presentation on
“Pesticides use and Health
EXT-591 CREDIT SEMINAR (1+0)
M.Sc. (Ag.) 4th Sem.
Dept. of E.E.S.
• Learn about pesticides – what they are and
what are the risks they may pose?
• Identify the scenarios – where and how
humans are exposed to pesticides?
• Recognize signs, symptoms and diseases that
may be related to pesticide exposure to the
• Know how to prevent and treat pesticide
I) What is Pesticides?
- Classification on the basis of use
- Pesticide use throughout the world
- Worldwide pesticide demand
II) Effects of Pesticides
- Human may be harmed by pesticides in two ways
III) Pesticides Exposure
- Estimated overall annual public health impact of pesticide
IV) Pesticides in children’s complex environment flow chart
V) Signs and symptoms of harmful effects
VI) Prevention of exposure
VII) Responding to a poisoning emergency
VIII) General guidelines for first-aid
What is Pesticides?
• Pesticides are chemicals designed to kill a variety of
pests, such as weeds, insects, rodents, and fungi.
They can be characterized on the basis of function—
insecticide, herbicide, rodenticide, fungicide, and
- There are two types of pesticides:-
1. Biological and;
a) Predatory and Parasitic Insects:-
-Predator- Rodolia & Parasite- Pseudopycus utilis
b) Predatory Vertebrates, Birds, Reptiles etc. :-
-E.g.; Fish, Frog Sparrow, Crow, Bats and Rats etc.
-Organophosphates, Organochlorines and Pyrethroids
Classification of chemical pesticides
on the basis of Use
Sl. No. Pesticides Against which used
1. Insecticides Insects
2. Nematicides Nematodes
3. Rodenticides Rodents
4. Fungicides Fungal diseases
5. Weedicides Weeds
Harmful Effects of Pesticides
Pesticides can cause three types of harmful effects:
1) Acute effects,
2) Delayed effects and;
3) Allergic effects.
A) Acute Effects
- Pesticides cause four types of acute effects:
• Acute oral effects,
• Acute inhalation effects,
• Acute dermal effects and;
• Acute eye effects.
B) Delayed Effects
• Delayed effects are illnesses or injuries that do not appear
immediately (within 24 hours) after exposure to a pesticide or
combination of pesticides.
C) Allergic Effects
• Allergic effects are harmful effects that some people develop in
reaction to substances that do not cause the same reaction in
most other people.
Types of allergic effects –
- Some people are sensitized to certain pesticides. After being
exposed once or a few times without effect, they develop a
severe allergy like response upon later exposures.
These allergic effects include:
• Systemic effects, such as asthma or even life-threatening shock,
• Skin irritation, such as rash, blisters, or open sores and;
• Eye and nose irritation, such as itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.
Humans may be harmed by pesticides in two ways
They may be 1) poisoned or 2) injured.
• Pesticide poisoning is caused by pesticides that harm internal
organs or other systems inside the body.
• Pesticide-related injuries usually are caused by pesticides that are
1. Improper handling of pesticides 2. Extensive pesticide usage
3. Poor house keeping of pesticides 4. Improper pesticide storage
Ways of exposures
Types of Exposures
Pesticides contact our body in four main ways:-
- Oral exposure,
- Inhalation exposure,
- Ocular exposure and;
- Dermal exposure.
Causes of Exposure
1) Oral exposures:
• Not washing hands before eating, drinking, smoking, or
2) Inhalation exposures:
• Prolonged contact with pesticides in closed or poorly
3) Dermal exposures:
• Not washing hands after handling pesticides or their containers,
4) Eye exposures:
• Splashing or spraying pesticides in eyes.
Air, water, food, soil and
PESTICIDES IN CHILDREN'S COMPLEX ENVIRONMENT FLOW CHART
Eating and drinking contaminated food and
Playing in contaminated areas etc.
- Critical windows
Signs and Symptoms of Harmful Effects
1) External irritants:
• Redness, blisters, rash, and/or burns on skin and;
• Swelling, a stinging sensation, and/or burns in
eyes, nose, mouth, and throat.
2) Pesticide poisoning:
• Excessive sweating, chills, and/or thirsts,
• Chest pains,
• Difficult breathing,
• Cramps in our muscles or aches all over our
PREVENTION OF EXPOSURE
1) PREVENTION – LOCAL LEVEL
Use pesticides ONLY when the benefits outweigh the risks
• Avoid cosmetic or scheduled use of pesticides in the
• Use integrated pest management (IPM), non-chemical
If pesticides are necessary:
• Store in original containers with child-proof seals, out of
reach, in a locked cabinet,
• Educate on the safe use of pesticides,
• Follow manufacturer’s instructions,
• Use protective equipment and;
• Use least hazardous chemicals, least dangerous mode of
2) PREVENTION – COMMUNITY LEVEL
Integrated pest management (IPM)
• Public buildings
• Health centers
• Public parks
• Community campaigns
• School activities
• Local awards or contests
• Pesticide-free "zones"
• Support organic farming
3) PREVENTION – NATIONAL LEVEL
Education campaigns aimed at pesticide users,
general population and children.
Restrict availability or limit use.
Establish and monitor maximum residue limits.
Surveillance and epidemiological vigilance for
acute and chronic related illness.
• Emergency services.
• Poison control centers and;
• Education of health care providers.
Responding To a Poisoning Emergency
A) Local Emergency Response
Get medical advice quickly if you or any of your fellow
workers have unusual or unexplained symptoms starting
at work or later the same day.
Do not let yourself or anyone else get dangerously sick
before calling your physician or going to a hospital.
B) First Aid for Pesticide Poisoning
First aid is the initial effort to help a victim while medical
help is on the way.
Apply artificial respiration if the victim is not breathing.
The best first aid in pesticide emergencies is to stop the
source of pesticide exposure as quickly as possible.
General Guidelines For First Aid
1) Pesticide on skin:
• Remove personal protective equipment and contaminated clothing.
• Wash skin and hair thoroughly with a mild liquid detergent and water.
• Dry victim and wrap in blanket or any clean clothing at hand.
2) Pesticide in eye:
• Wash eye quickly but gently.
• Use an eyewash dispenser, if available.
• Rinse eye for 15 minutes or more.
3) Inhaled pesticide:
• Get victim to fresh air immediately.
• Loosen tight clothing on victim that would constrict breathing.
• Apply artificial respiration if breathing has stopped or if the victim's skin is
4) Pesticide in mouth or swallowed:
• Rinse mouth with plenty of water.
• Give victim large amounts (up to 1 quart) of milk or water to drink.
• Induce vomiting only if instructions to do so are on the labeling.
• All pesticides have the potential to be harmful to humans,
animals, other living organisms, and the environment if
• Modern agriculture practices have been great promise for
economic development of nation. Farm productivity is
directly proportional to use of agrochemicals as observed
from the first green revolution.
• Improper and unsafe use of these agrochemicals,
especially pesticides is not only harmful to environment
but also human health.
• Poverty and Illiteracy are greatly responsible for improper
handling of pesticides.
• However the study has also found that there is ample
scope for reducing pesticide exposure through training,
agricultural extension and community mobilization etc.
Philip G. Koehler, University of Florida and Robert A. Belmont, Florida Pest Control
Association. March 1998.
Mathur, Y.K and Upadhyay K.D. A text book of Entomology, Aman Publishing House Meerut-
250002 (U.P) India.
Children's Health and the Environment, WHO Training Package for the Health Sector World
Health Organization www.who.int/ceh