Human Health: Pesticide Sensitivities

Authored by: Ann McCampbell

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Almost all pesticides are toxic and pose some health risks to everyone. There are, however, a growing number of people who react adversely to pesticides at levels far below those that cause symptoms in the average person. For these pesticide-sensitive people, exposures to even minute amounts of insecticides, herbicides, and other pesticides can trigger severe symptoms and prolonged ill health. Some are so sensitive to pesticides that they cannot tolerate the pesticide residues on conventionally grown food and must eat only organic food. Many people report that they developed pesticide and other chemical sensitivities after a pesticide exposure, such as having their home or office sprayed with pesticides, being exposed to aerial drift of pesticides, or through an occupational exposure. Some farmers, ranchers, and pest control operators have developed pesticide sensitivities as a result of their work-related pesticide exposures. Reports from around the world indicate that pesticide and chemical sensitivities are a global problem.

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