Pesticides: Poisoning & First Aid
Pesticide poisoning can occur when a person is exposed from skin and/or eye absorption, oral ingestion, or inhalation. Some signs and symptoms of pesticide poisonings include: nausea, headache, dizziness, sweating, vomiting, and even convulsions. If you observe someone exhibiting signs and symptoms and suspect they’re experiencing a pesticide poisoning, several steps should be immediately taken.
First, try to determine what the victim was exposed to and what part of the body was exposed. If necessary, stop the person’s exposure by separating the person from the pesticide contamination source. If the clothing is contaminated, remove it and begin flushing the victim with lots of cool water to dilute the pesticide. If the person is unconscious, having trouble breathing, or having convulsions, ACT FAST! Call 911. If the person is awake or conscious, not having trouble breathing, and not having convulsions, read the label for first aid instructions. The appropriate first aid treatment depends on the kind of poisoning that has occurred. Call the poison help center at 1-800-222-1222 for help and have the pesticide label in hand when you call.
First aid should NOT replace professional medical treatment. Keep the label with the victim if transporting them to medical care. Tell the victim to remain calm, and keep them as quiet, warm and comfortable as possible. Do not induce vomiting unless the label instructs you to do so. Do not hesitate to seek professional treatment as it is better to be too cautious than too late!
Family members of pesticide applicators should have knowledge of their regularly-used pesticides. If poisoning signs and symptoms occur, family members should know where to find pesticide label so they can follow emergency procedures and administer first aid.
Keep emergency phone numbers in a handy, well-known location at work and home. In the event of an emergency, dial 911. The Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center telephone number is 1-800-222-1222. Put that number in your cell phone now! It’s 1-800-222-1222.
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Updated Tuesday, October 13, 2015