Pesticide poisoning - symptoms and first aid
Pesticides belong to a group of chemicals used in the agricultural industry to combat plant-causing organisms, weeds, pests of wool, cotton, leather, and ectoparasites of domestic animals.
By chemical nature, these can be various substances: organochlorine, containing heavy metals (for example, copper or mercury), derivatives of organophosphate or carbamide-containing substances.
They can maintain their poisonous effect for a long time: from 1 month - they are considered to be of little persistence, up to two years - for especially resistant substances.
Where can I get poisoned by pesticides
Pesticide poisoning can be both domestic and professional.
If a person’s work is related to agriculture, crop production, the violation of safety regulations during the preparation of solutions of these substances, their use, cleaning and repairing equipment used in spraying plants, can lead to tragic consequences.
In everyday life, poisoning can occur when people are not directly related to the use of toxic chemicals, but violate the rules of their storage or begin to ineptly use them - for example, poison insects.
The ways of penetration of pesticides in humans and animals can be the following:
- nutritional way (food treated with pesticides);
- by airborne droplets (intake of pesticides into the body through the upper respiratory tract is inhalation);
- household contact;
- through the skin.
Many factors play a role in the ability to harm health:
- degree of toxicity of the substance;
- its durability, rate of destruction in nature;
- ability to accumulate in products and organisms (cumulative);
- giro or water solubility (this is called lipophilicity or hydrophilicity);
- route of entry.
When chemicals enter the human body, even in small quantities, they cause a disturbance of the functional state, which is manifested by certain clinical symptoms, the effect of which depends on the type of substance.
Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning
If intoxication has occurred with pesticides based on organophosphorus compounds (often used to control insects), then the following signs prevail:
- damage to the nervous system - begin to twitch the muscles that go into cramps;
- damage to the respiratory and circulatory organs: motor agitation increases, confusion, pupils become narrow, wheezing appears in the lungs;
- there is a loss of consciousness to the level of coma, pressure drops and the activity of the heart stops.
Compounds containing chlorine have a slightly different toxic effect. In this case, the initial signs of pesticide poisoning are associated with their irritant effects.
- first, redness develops on the skin;
- sore throat;
- muscle weakness occurs;
- kidney or liver damage;
- loss of consciousness;
- in severe cases - death.
Pesticide poisoning, the symptoms of which begin with the appearance in the mouth of a strange taste, can speak about the toxic effects of mercury-containing poisons. Although a similar clinical picture can be observed under the action of other heavy metals - arsenic, cadmium, copper. In this case, are affected:
- lymph nodes;
- blood system;
- digestive tract;
- mental disorder and impairment of consciousness occurs;
- weakness and muscle tremors appear.
In the absence of timely treatment, the consequences can be very serious.
First aid for pesticide poisoning
How to help a person if he is poisoned by pesticides?
The first point is to determine which substance caused the violation of health. First aid for poisoning with pesticides depends on this.
In any case, you must first stop the effect of the poison on the body (for example, bring a person to fresh air).
The second is measures aimed at removing poison from the body. It is necessary to wash off the poison from the skin with running water. In case of oral poisoning (ingestion through the mouth), it is necessary to perform a gastric lavage. In case of loss of consciousness it is impossible to induce vomiting! Probe washing, of course, will be effective, but requires some medical skills.
From the intestine, the poison is removed by carrying out cleansing and siphon enemas.
You can speed up the excretion of poison by increasing urination (forced diuresis). After heavy drinking or intravenous fluids, diuretics are administered to the patient.
It is also necessary to prevent the absorption of poison. This will help enveloping substances - Almagel, starch, egg white, and sorbents - activated carbon, Polyphepan.
The third item that must be performed if pesticide poisoning is diagnosed is treatment with substances that cause the neutralization of an already absorbed poison. It can be Antarsin, Unithiol, sodium thiosulfate - for each poisonous agent there is an antidote. Therefore, as a rule, the third stage of care is carried out already in the hospital, since the correct antidote can be selected and only a doctor can use it.
Further measures of assistance are specialized and depend on the individual clinical situation (dialysis, hemosorption, plasma exchange).
So, to summarize - first aid in case of an accident associated with pesticide poisoning should be carried out immediately, but after that the victim should be taken to hospital as soon as possible, since the danger of toxic compounds is very high and life-threatening complications can occur at any time.
Pesticide poisoning prevention
Considering the fact that pesticides can cause serious harm to health, the main thing is to prevent pesticide poisoning.
- It is necessary to strictly follow the safety instructions for storage and use of these substances.
- Observe personal hygiene (thoroughly washing the skin after using pesticides).
- Wear protective clothing and personal equipment (gas masks, respirators).
In this case, as always in life, the rule of gold works: the one who is warned is armed!