What are the effects of herbicides on humans?

21 November 2014
Comments: 0
21 November 2014, Comments: 0

Herbicides are best described as poisonous chemicals that are utilized in eliminating unwanted plants and considered as a type of pesticide. Herbicides are frequently used around the house and farm but capable of causing serious health issues to adults but more hazardous among pets and young children.

It is important to note that exposure to herbicides can trigger the manifestation of mild symptoms such as nausea, rashes, headaches while the dangerous symptoms include convulsions, seizures and even death. By enrolling in one of the first aid classes in Winnipeg today, you can learn how to manage the effects.

What are the types?

Take note that herbicides are typically available as powder or liquids and oftentimes pre-mixed into fertilizer products. They are categorized based on the types of plants that they affect.

Herbicides

It is important to note that exposure to herbicides can trigger the manifestation of mild symptoms such as nausea, rashes, headaches while the dangerous symptoms include convulsions, seizures and even death.

The broad-spectrum herbicides will eliminate any plant on which they are applied while the selective herbicides are specifically designed to target certain types of plants. The contact herbicides only affect the part of the plant that the chemical touches while the systemic herbicides are designed to be drawn up into the plant via its roots or absorbed through its stems and leaves. The systemic herbicides eliminate the whole plant. The modern herbicides are less toxic than those used in the past but they are still poisonous and must be handled with care.

Skin irritation and allergic reaction

Herbicides are structured to be toxic to plants but are not generally toxic to mammals. The usual side effect is skin irritation once an individual came in contact with the herbicide and more likely to happen on exposed body parts such as the forearms and hands. Some chemicals can burn the skin and must be washed off right away with cold water.

Nervous system issues

There are some herbicides that can trigger nervous system issues such as peripheral neuropathy. The initial symptoms of this condition include tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes that steadily spread to the feet and hands. In most cases, pain can also occur as well as sensitivity to touch and muscle weakness. Acute peripheral neuropathy occurs after a few weeks of exposure.

What are the effects on children?

Both children and infants face a higher risk for illnesses from herbicides than adults. This is due to the fact that children are still in the phase of developing their immune system and could not provide protection against the herbicides.

Children are more likely to play in areas which expose them to chemicals such as the rolling in the lawn or on the floor. A mild exposure can lead to complaints of dizziness and nausea but herbicides can also instigate developmental and neurological damage among children.

Effects on pets

Pets can end up poisoned by herbicides that came in contact with the chemicals once outdoors but they are also kept inside the house which also poses as a problem if they are stored where pets can easily access.

Pets can ingest herbicides by chewing on toys or plants that were contaminated or when they lick themselves after being in contact with the chemical. Animals that bring herbicides inside the house can spread and leave behind residue on the carpets and furniture.

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