Pesticide Risk & Hazards



How pesticides contaminate?


Pesticides can take the form of a solid, liquid, powder or spray. The form will influence the way in which the pesticide can enter your body and potentially affect your health. Pesticides can enter your body if you:

    Swallow pesticide; eat, drink or smoke after handling pesticide; or consume food or drink that was exposed to pesticide.
    Have skin contact with pesticide - directly, through pesticide-soaked clothing, or by touching pesticide-treated surfaces.
    Inhale pesticide vapours, sprays or dust.
    Rub your eyes after handling pesticide or in some other way cause pesticide to come into direct contact with your eyes.


If you minimize your exposure and take care when you come into contact with pesticides, you will reduce the chance of damaging your health.

Pesticide poisoning
Poisoning as a result of exposure to pesticides may occur shortly after a single exposure (acute poisoning) or gradually after repeated exposures over a period of time (chronic poisoning).



Acute poisoning
Symptoms may begin shortly after exposure and may include:
    Stomach cramps
    Blurred vision
    Excessive eye watering
    Excess saliva.

More severe poisoning may also lead to changes in heart rate, chest tightness, muscle weakness and twitching, difficulty breathing and walking, constricted pupils and incontinence.


In very severe cases of poisoning, seizures and unconsciousness may occur.


Chronic poisoning
Symptoms may occur gradually after repeated exposures over a period of time and may include:
    Muscle weakness
    Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
    Generally feeling unwell.