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Pesticide Poisons Preschool Child
by Lourdes Salvador
Pesticide is all around us. Despite its known toxicity to humans, pesticide is a household product found in many homes, schools, and work places.
"Exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, has been shown to have adverse effects in humans, particularly neurological effects," say Researchers Riccio, Avila, and Ash from the Texas A&M University.
Though adults suffer the consequences of pesticide use, it is most dangerous to children.
Riccio and colleagues report on a preschooler who was poisoned by pesticide. After the poisoning, the parents noticed a change in the toddler´s attention, speech, social skills, and motor coordination. A neuropsychological assessment was performed and confirmed both subtle and not-so-subtle effects of acute pesticide poisoning.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that children are at a greater risk from pesticides for a number of reasons.
"Children's internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems may provide less natural protection than those of an adult. There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates. Children may be exposed more to certain pesticides because often they eat different foods than adults.
For instance, children typically consume larger quantities of milk, applesauce, and orange juice per pound of body weight than do adults. Children's behaviors, such as playing on the floor or on the lawn where pesticides are commonly applied, or putting objects in their mouths, increase their chances of exposure to pesticides.
Adverse effects of pesticide exposure range from mild symptoms of dizziness and nausea to serious, long-term neurological, developmental and reproductive disorders. Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticides each year to combat pests on farm crops, in homes, places of business, schools, parks, hospitals, and other public places."
Most pesticides contain bait which actually attracts more critters. For this reason, it is not advisable to use pesticides on a routine basis. Most non-infestations don´t require the regular use of pesticide anyway. Keeping clutter to a minimum and cleaning regularly deters most pests.
When infestations do occur, there are many alternatives, including simply finding and removing the nest. With the nest go the critters without harm to building occupants.
As a society, we tend to reach for the pesticide the moment we see a critter. The sighting of a stray roach or ant shouldn´t bring out the can of spray for a good dousing. It´s just as easy and much safer to step on the offending critter or smash it with a finger or tissue. It may even be more satisfying!
Riccio CA, Avila L, Ash MJ. Pesticide poisoning in a preschool child: a case study examining neurocognitive and neurobehavioral effects. Appl Neuropsychol. 2010 Apr;17(2):153-9.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America
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