The Harmful Effects of Pesticide Exposure on Human Health

Pesticides which are intended to kill pests and insects, often harm other living things including humans. Even a very low level of exposure can cause dangerous health issues including chronic diseases in adults and children. People get exposed to pesticides by consuming them in their food, through contaminated water resources, or by touching or breathing. In general pesticides are used both on food crops such as fruits, vegetables, rice, wheat, corn etc and on non-food crops like grass, flowers, cotton etc. Not only in the agricultural field, they are found everywhere in our surroundings where there is a scope for pest infestation. It is quite common that many of us use bug spray in our houses especially in the kitchen to avoid pests and insects. But, we hardly think about the ways how it can be dangerous to our health.

Human Health Hazards

There are many pesticide varieties available in the market each is meant to be effective on a specific insect or pest. Most of these pesticides contain a common chemical toxic called organophosphate which is extremely risky for human health. When the toxic is inhaled, it inhibits the activity of an enzyme called cholinesterase in the human nervous system. Cholinesterase enzyme is responsible for controlling the acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which carries signals between nerves and muscles. The inactivity of cholinesterase will build up acetylcholine which can affect the functionality of nervous system of the whole human body. This can even lead to death if exposure of toxic is more.
Chronic low-level exposure may not cause immediate affect but may impact the individual in several ways such as memory disorders, reduced visual ability, depression, respiratory problems, hormone disruption, birth defects, cancer and other neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Who is More Susceptible?

Pregnant women, infants and growing children are more at higher risk for harmful outcomes from exposure to pesticides. Particularly, the increase in exposure of organophosphate can cause the children develop neurological disorders such as impaired mental development, hyperactivity disorder, Autism, ADHD etc. This also makes clear that children should be kept away from such foods which have higher exposure to pesticides.

The Health Benefits of Eating Organic

Foods that are grown without using synthetic chemicals will have healthy produce with higher nutritional quality. They not only taste better but keeps individuals away from unhealthy toxins. Organic produce is grown using natural fertilizers such as manure & compost and the pest & insect control is done using natural sources. Since harmful pesticides are not used in organic farming, any traces of strong chemicals will not be there on fruits and vegetables, which can affect the human body in negative ways. Organic food are fresh than conventional because they are not grown using synthetic pesticides & fertilizers, food additives and GMOs (genetically modified organisms).

1 comment on “The Harmful Effects of Pesticide Exposure on Human Health”

  1. Tanveer S says:

    Population-based studies have revealed possible relations between the exposure to organophosphorus pesticides and serious health effects including cardiovascular diseases ( 62 ), negative effects on the male reproductive system ( 63 ) and on the nervous system ( 58, 64 66 ), dementia ( 67 ), and also a possible increased risk for non-Hodgkin s lymphoma ( 68 ). Furthermore, prenatal exposure to organophosphates has been correlated with decreased gestational duration ( 69 ) and neurological problems occurring in children (70).