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Precautions in use of pesticides

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             A number of pesticides such as Malathion, DDVP, Aluminum phosphide, Methyl bromide, Zinc phosphide and anti coagulants are used in grain storage for  the control of stored grain insect pests and rodents. All these pesticides are highly poisonous chemicals and toxic to human beings and animals. These pesticides should be used with due care. Their careless handling may cause serious pesticide poisoning. Some of the important precautions to be taken while handling these pesticides are as follows:
1.      Always read the instructions printed on the label of the pesticides and follow them.  

2.      Pesticides should be kept away from the reach of children and domestic animals. It is safer if the pesticides are kept under lock and key. 

3.      Never store the pesticides along with food and feed.

4.      While using pesticides, protective clothing viz hand gloves, aprons, rubber boots and gas masks should be used by the operators.

5.      Hands and other parts of body should be thoroughly washed with soap after using the pesticides.

6.      The empty containers of the pesticides should be dumped into the earth and these should not be used for storage of food items. 

7.      Drinking, smoking and eating are strictly prohibited during the use of pesticides.

8.      The nozzle of the sprayer should not be cleared and blown with mouth.
             If we take all these precautions, we may avoid the poisoning of pesticides. But some times due to accident or some or other reasons, pesticide poisoning may occur. In such cases, first aid measures should be immediately taken to minimize the toxic effect of poisoning of pesticides. Some of the important first aid measures are as follows:
(i)                 Immediately remove the patient from the godown or warehouse to open place and he should be allowed to rest in the open.

(ii)              The patient should be induced vomiting so that the pesticide may come out from the stomach and may not cause damage to the vital part of the body. For vomiting, common salt or powered mustard seed along with plenty of water may be used.

Symptoms of pesticide poisoning

            The symptoms of pesticide poisoning of some of the pesticides and their anti dotes are given below:

Organo phosphorous  insecticides (Malathion, DDVP etc)

                All Organo phosphorous insecticides such as Malathion, DDVP etc are poisonous chemicals.  Nausea (feeling of vomiting) is the first poisoning symptom of all organo phosphorous insecticides. It   is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, headache, giddiness, vertigo and weakness. There may be difficulty in breathing and disruption of nerve functioning. Death may be caused by anoxia (lack of oxygen).

Antedotes: Atropine sulphate is the specific antidote of organo phosphrous poisoning. This may be given in repeated doses of 2-4 mg at 5-10 minutes interval. 25-50 mg atropine sulphate may be given in a day.

Aluminium phosphide: The poisoning symptoms are feeling of fatigue, buzzing in ears, nausea, pressure in chest, intestinal pain diarrhea and vomiting. Oxygen therapy should be provided to the patient and drug which stimulate blood circulation should be given. 

Stomach should be washed with 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate. Blood transfusion or infusion of glucose in the blood is recommended.

Zinc phosphide: Stomach should be washed with 0.1% solution of potassium permanganate. The small amount of copper sulphate solution in water (0.2%)   should be given to the patient which will neutralize the effect of zinc phosphide.

Anticoagulant rodenticides: Vitamin K is the antidote of all anticoagulant rodenticides.

Universal Antidote: An universal antidote consisting of activated charcoal, tannic acid and magnesium oxide may be given in all types of pesticide poisoning. 3 gm of activated charcoal, 3gm of tannic acid and 4 gm of magnesium oxide may be given with one glass of water.                          

Last updated: Sep 27, 2021

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