Signs And Symptoms
There are two kinds of illnesses or injuries caused by pesticides. Some symptoms only appear after the person has been poisoned and include headaches and nausea. Some other symptoms, like fainting and vomiting will occur for contact with more hazardous pesticides.
You also need to know what the symptoms mean and what kind of pesticide poisoning you need to search for people who are exposed to them. Various symtoms of poisoning are identical to other diseases you can get, just like flu or the hangover. Doctors can diagnose the poisoning. In case you or your colleague suspect signs and symptoms of poisoning, it is advisable to contact emergency services such as calling 000.
External irritation can cause redness, blisters, rash, or even burns on the skin, swelling and a stinging sensation. It can cause burns in eyes, nose, mouth, and throat too.
Pesticide poisoning can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, headache, dizziness, confusion, weakness, excessive sweating, thirst, chest pain, chills, breathing difficulties, cramps in muscle or even aches all over the body.
Being Informed Is Important
While using pesticides, you need to be aware of harmful effects that they can cause. Here are some tips on how to act when dealing with pesticide poisoning:
1. Responding To An Emergency
If you or your colleague have some strange or unexplained symptoms which started while working or being near to pesticide spray you need to get medical advice or help as soon as possible. You should not let yourself or anybody else to get dangerously ill before you call medical help. Before going to the doctor you should take the pesticide container or just the labelling of it, but you need to transport the container safely.
2. Pesticide Poisoning First Aid
First aid is a primary procedure that needs to be done in order to help the victim of poisoning while waiting for medical help to arrive.
First thing is to make sure that the victim is not near the pesticides and that he can breathe. If the victim is not breathing, you need to use artificial respiration on the victim. You should not become exposed to the pesticides while trying to help. Look for the pesticide label because it should give you specific first aid instructions. You need to use them carefully. Always remember to close the source of pesticides as soon as possible or move it as far away.
3. Pesticide On Skin
If your skin gets in contact with pesticides, the best thing to do is to soak it with plenty of water. Good way is to place the victim in the water, like pond or a river. It is good to take off the protective equipment and contaminated clothes from the victim. Best way is to fully and thoroughly clean the entire body of victim. After that, it is important to dry whole body and wrap it in blankets or any other clean clothing.
Important thing is to not allow the victim to become cold or overheated. It’s necessary to cover burned skin with clean and dry cloth or bandage. Do not put medical oils, powders or greases on burned or injured skin.
4. Pesticide In The Eyes
The eyes need to be washed quickly and gently, if possible, with eyewash dispenser. Hold the eyelids open and wash the eyes gently with clean running water which is positioned so that it flows across the eyes and not directly into the eyes. You need to wash your eyes for a minimum of 15 minutes or more. Do not use chemicals or drugs in the rinse water because this can increase the injury.
5. Inhaled Pesticides
It is important to take the victim to fresh air as soon as possible and loose tight clothes which may interfere with breathing. You need to warn everybody of the danger if they are in the contaminated area. Artificial respiration is required if breathing has stopped or victim’s skin becomes blue. Avoid direct contact with victim’s mouth if they are covered with vomit or pesticides. In that case it’s good to use shaped airway tube or mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
6. Pesticide Swallowed
The correct way is to rinse victim’s mouth with plenty of water. After that you should give the victim a large amount of water or milk to drink. You should stimulate the victim to vomit only if the instructions on pesticide label says that.
7. Inducing Vomiting Procedure
Victim’s face needs to be positioned face down or kneeling forward. It’s not good for the victim to lie on their back because the vomit can get into the lungs and do more damage. Give the victim syrup of ipecac or put finger at the back of victim’s throat. Instead of a finger you could use the blunt end of a spoon.
8. Do Not Induce Vomiting
Inducing the vomiting is not recommended if the victim is unconscious or is having convulsions. If the victim has swallowed a corrosive poison, it could burn the throat and mouth. That poison may get even in the lungs and burn there too.
9. Heat Stress
It is the illness which occurs when the body is exposed to much more heat that it can handle with. Heat stress is induced by exposure to pesticides, but it can have an effect on people who work with them in hot conditions. It can be caused by wearing personal protective equipment while pesticide handling because it limits the worker ability to cool down his body temperature.
10. Heat Stress – Signs And Symptoms
Small amount of heat stress can cause people to feel sick and reduce their ability to work. They can get tired sooner, feel weaker, and be less able to make better judgement. Severe heat stress can cause serious illness, unless the victims are cooled down faster. Otherwise, they might even die. More than 10% of severe heat stress victims dies, regardless of their age. Many of the victims who survive, suffer permanent damage. Signs and symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth and thirst
- Hot and dry skin
- Heavy sweating
- Complete lack of sweating.
First Aid For Heat Stress
There is small difference between heat stress and poisoning caused by pesticides because the signs and symptoms are much similar. It is important to look for medical help if you have any of these symptoms.
First thing to do to help victim of heat stress is to get them in a shaded area. You need to cool down the victim by splashing skin with cool water, especially the face, neck, hands, and forearms. Next step is to remove victim’s personal protective gear and other clothing which makes him warmer. If the victim shows signs of consciousness, give him as much as possible water to drink. If the treatment for severe heat stress or heat stroke is delayed, it can result with brain damage or even death.
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