Signs and Symptoms of Harmful Effects

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Signs and Symptoms of Harmful Effects – Watch for two kinds of clues to pesticide-related illness or injury. Some clues are feelings that only the person who has been poisoned can notice, such as nausea or headache. These are
symptoms. Other clues, like vomiting or fainting, can be noticed by someone else. These are signs.

You should know:

what your own symptoms might mean, and what signs of poisoning to look for in your coworkers and others who may have been exposed.

Many of the signs and symptoms of pesticide poisoning are similar to signs and symptoms of other illnesses you might experience, such as the flu or even a hangover. If you have been working with pesticides and then develop suspicious signs and symptoms, call your physician or poison control center. Only a physician can diagnose pesticide poisoning injuries.

External irritants cause redness, blisters, rash, and/or burns on skin, and swelling, a stinging sensation, and/or burns in eyes, nose, mouth, and throat.

Pesticide poisoning may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or stomach cramps, headache, dizziness, weakness, and/or confusion, excessive sweating, chills, and/or thirst, chest pains, difficult breathing, cramps in
your muscles or aches all over your body.

Telltale signs or symptoms — Ask your physician or poison control center to obtain the latest edition of “Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings” by Donald P. Morgan, M.D., Ph.D. It is available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or from the U.S. Government Printing Office. Many physicians have not been trained to recognize and treat pesticide poisonings or injury and may rarely see such cases.

Be informed — You should know the kinds of harmful effects most likely to be caused by the pesticides you use. The appendix, Effects of Pesticides on the Human Body, contains a guide to help you judge how the products you use might affect you. The chart lists the major groups of pesticides. For each group, it tells: ▪ the action of the poison on the human system, ▪ acute poisoning (systemic) effects, ▪ acute irritation effects, ▪ delayed or allergic effects, and ▪ type of pesticide. (Source: http://pest.ca.uky.edu)

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