Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
Pesticide Exposure May Lead to Depression
by Lourdes Salvador
Pesticide exposure may lead to depression, anxiety, neuroses, and psychiatric disorders according to researchers at the Colorado Injury Control Research Center.
Depression has been associated with both chronic pesticide exposures from occupying treated areas and the high pesticide exposure events seen in pesticide applicators.
Individuals who have used pesticides in the past have a significantly greater chance of being diagnosed with depression. Short-term depression is evident in pesticide exposure cases even in the absence of a physician-diagnosed poisoning.
In the presence of acute diagnosed pesticide poisoning, depression may be long-term or permanent and is associated with a history of pesticide poisoning or a high pesticide exposure event.
Individuals with a history of mood disorders may be at increased risk of depression when exposed to pesticides. This implies a genetic variant which may increase susceptibility to depression from pesticides in certain individuals.
Pesticide poisoning is generally diagnosed by plasma cholinesterase. Pesticides work by interfering with metabolism and normal behavior by inhibiting acetylcholine, causing neuronal disturbances in the brain. Humans are affected by pesticides in much the same way as insects, except the larger size of the human organism requires a larger dose for a lethal effect.
Lower doses of pesticides, while not lethal, are capable of causing neurochemical imbalances and other symptoms, including headache, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat, excessive saliva, stomach cramps, excessive perspiration, trembling, lack of muscle coordination, muscle twitches, mental confusion, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing, cough, rapid pulse, flushed or yellow skin, weeping, fever, intense thirst, increased rate of breathing, and in more severe cases, pinpoint pupils, convulsions, inability to breathe, and unconsciousness.
Pesticide applicators may protect against depression by wearing chemically resistant gloves. Others should avoid applying any pesticides to their homes and offices, where they may persist and release harmful gasses into the air for months or longer. Children and pets are at increased risk of direct contact with pesticides as they often live and play the floor.
The researchers emphasize the importance of minimizing pesticide exposures. Alternatives to pesticides are abundant. Stephen L. Tvedten's “The Best Control” offers many solutions to common pest control problems and may be downloaded for free at:
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2008 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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