Safety First! Pest Control Guide

Why are pesticides harmful?

Exposure to pesticides can cause harmful effects. The harmful effects of pesticides can be categorized as:

  1. Acute
  2. Delayed
  3. Allergic Reaction

Acute toxicity are characterised as diseases or visible injuries that can occur right away after exposure to a pesticide (usually within 24 hours).

If you want to know more about why it's important to book a safe pest control service that does not use harmful pesticides, you may consult our pest experts on (02) 8007 4666.

What is acute toxicity?

Acute effects of pesticides are usually more evident and are often reversible if the necessary medical help is provided as soon as possible. Assessing the toxicity of pesticides are commonly done by studying a pesticide’s relative ability to induce acute effects. Acute toxicity can be measured more accurately than delayed effects and its effects are easier to spot.


Here are the ways wherein you can be affected by pesticides

  • Through oral ingestion
  • Through inhalation
  • Through skin contact
  • Eye contact

Acute oral effects involves the oral cavity, throat and stomach, which can be damaged by some types of pesticides.

When accidentally ingested, pesticides will not only burn your digestive system but can be absorbed and carried throughout the human blood system and may cause harm in many different ways.

We cannot underscore enough how harmful pesticides are. By ingesting even a tiny amount of pesticides when wiping your mouth with a contaminated glove, it can make you sick and can cause problems with eating and drinking.

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What are the types of acute toxicity caused by pesticides?

Acute inhalation effects

Difficulty breathing and breathing disorders of the human respiratory system can originate from pesticides. In some cases, it may not directly damage your respiratory system. However, when pesticides are carried rapidly into your blood system, they can spread throughout your whole body and cause extensive damage.

Acute dermal effects

Just a small amount of pesticides can hurt your skin. Some types of pesticides can cause your skin to itch, blister, rupture or even change colour. Other pesticides can pass through your skin and eyes and get into your body system.

Eye Problem

Some types of pesticides that get into your eyes can cause temporal or constant blindness or serious irritation. Eyes can also serve as an entry point for a pesticide, which can mix into your blood and travel throughout your body, causing irreversible damage.

Delayed effects

Delayed or postponed effects of pesticides are illnesses or injuries that do not manifest within 24 hours after being exposed to pesticides. The term “chronic effects” is frequently used to describe delayed effects, but more often it is applied only for some types of delayed effects.

What are the causes of delayed effects?

  • Repeated exposure to a pesticide or group of them, or a combination of pesticides over long time

  • Single exposure to a pesticide or their combination, that causes a damaging reaction which becomes visible much later.

Exposure to Pesticides

Sometimes repeated exposure to a pesticides or family of pesticides will result in a delayed effect. Greater exposure may cause acute effect. A single exposure may cause damage even if the effects do not manifest immediately.

For instance, high exposure to herbicide paraquat may cause severe or fatal lung injury that may not appear for 3 to 14 days after the initial exposure.

Permanent or common exposures over a long period of time make it more likely that all the necessary factors will be present. There may also be changes in genetics that can result in cancer development or other delayed effects.

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What are the types of delayed effects?

Chronic effects usually take few years to manifest after the first exposure. Some delayed effects which are believed to result from chronic toxicity include the ff.:

  • production of tumours (oncogenic effect)
  • occurrence of malignancy or cancer (carcinogenic effect)
  • changes in the genes or chromosomes (mutagenic effect)

What are the risks involved when using pesticides?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will decide what steps need to be made for decreasing or even eliminating the risk because there is obvious evidence that pesticides can produce chronic, developmental, or even reproductive health effects. Further research is still needed to fully understand the negative effects of pesticides. This is why it is good to reduce your exposure to all kinds of pesticides to stay safe.

Allergic reaction caused by pesticides

They have damaging effects due to the body’s reaction to a substance where some people may be affected more than others. Substances that cause allergies are called sensitisers.

Some people are sensitive to certain pesticides. You may not immediately have an allergic reaction to pesticides after the first exposure, but that does not guarantee that you won't have an allergic reaction after subsequent exposures.

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What are the side effects?

Systemic effects like asthma, dangerous shock, irritation of skin (rash, blisters, open sores), nose and eye irritation (itchy, tears in the eyes, sneezing). Some people are more sensitive to chemicals than others, and therefore may be prone to having an allergic response to pesticides.

Usually pesticides have precautionary labels. You can see the warning: “This product may produce temporary allergic side effects characterised by redness of the eyes, mild bronchial irritation, and redness or rash on exposed skin areas. Persons having allergic reactions should contact a physician.”

Occupational Health And Safety

A regulation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), known as the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires employers to secure protection for workers who are exposed to dangerous chemicals in normal working conditions and emergencies.

Employers are required to:

  • have a list of the dangerous chemicals in the work environment;
  • obtain material safety data sheets for all dangerous substances and keep them in a file that is available to all workers
  • make sure that all containers of dangerous materials are labelled at all times
  • train all workers on how to handle dangerous substances

Why hire us for safe pest control?

Our team is fully certified and equipped to provide a safe pest control solution. We are fully licensed and insured, so you don't have to worry about any problems.

Call (02) 8007 4666 for a FREE CONSULTATION!