Is Pest Control Spray Toxic to Humans? A Comprehensive Guide

Most household insect sprays contain plant-based chemicals called pyrethrins, which were originally isolated from chrysanthemum flowers. Generally, these chemicals are not harmful, but they can cause life-threatening breathing problems if inhaled. According to a recent survey, 75 percent of households in the United States used at least one pesticide indoors over the past year. The most commonly used products are insecticides and disinfectants.

Another study suggests that 80 percent of most people's exposure to pesticides occurs indoors and that measurable levels of up to a dozen pesticides have been found in the air inside homes. In 1990, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported that about 79,000 children were involved in common poisoning or exposure to pesticides in the home. In households with children under five years of age, nearly half stored at least one pesticide within reach of children. Pesticides are classified as semi-volatile organic compounds and include a variety of chemicals in various forms.

Exposure to pesticides can cause skin irritation, eye irritation, respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is concerned that cyclodienes may cause long-term damage to the liver and central nervous system, as well as an increased risk of cancer. Preliminary research shows a widespread presence of pesticide residues in homes.It is illegal to use any pesticide in any way that is not consistent with the instructions on its label. Unless you have received special training and are certified, never use a pesticide whose use is restricted to state-certified pest control operators.

These pesticides are simply too dangerous for an uncertified person to apply. Use only pesticides approved for use by the general public and only in the recommended amounts; increasing the amount offers no more protection against pests and can be harmful to you and your plants and pets.Ventilate the area well after using pesticides. Use non-chemical methods of pest control when possible. Termite damage can be reduced or prevented by ensuring that wooden building materials do not come into direct contact with the ground and by storing firewood away from the house.

By properly fertilizing, watering and aerating lawns, the need for chemical pesticide treatments can be drastically reduced.If you decide to use a pest control company, choose one with care. If you have unused or partially used containers of pesticides that you want to dispose of, dispose of them according to the instructions on the label or during special household hazardous waste collection days. If there are no collection days like this in your community, work with others to organize them. Keep exposure to moth repellents to a minimum.One pesticide that is often found in the home is paradichlorobenzene, an active ingredient commonly used in moth repellents.

This chemical is known to cause cancer in animals, but there is great scientific uncertainty about the effects, if any, of long-term human exposure to paradichlorobenzene. The EPA requires that products containing paradichlorobenzene carry warnings, such as avoiding breathing vapors, to warn users of possible short-term toxic effects. Whenever possible, paradichlorobenzene and items that should be protected against moths should be placed in logs or other containers that can be stored in areas that are ventilated separately from the house, such as attics and separate garages.Paradichlorobenzene is also the key active ingredient in many air fresheners (in fact, some moth repellent labels recommend that these same products be used as air fresheners or deodorants). Adequate ventilation and basic household cleaning will go a long way in preventing unpleasant odors.

If chemicals must be used, use only the recommended amounts, mix or dilute pesticides outdoors or in an isolated, well-ventilated area, apply them to unoccupied areas, and dispose of unwanted pesticides safely to minimize exposure.Letting the treatment dry before returning home will keep you and your family safe from pest control. Once the treatment is dry, it shouldn't harm you or your family. However, don't deep clean it for a few days so that the treatment stays in place long enough to do its job. Removing insect repellent is often crucial to enjoying the outdoors, especially in the summer months; however, you'll have to do it safely.Insect sprays can cause side effects when used excessively; not only are these sprays harmful to bugs you don't like but they can also be harmful to humans and your pets - even busy bees - so use them with caution.

When a pest control technician incorrectly applies a pesticide or uses it in the wrong place it can spread to other areas and waterways; however some risks are mitigated when you let professionals deal with your pest problem.It should be noted that all pest control products contain chemicals intended to kill insects so regardless of how safe pest control is if used improperly it can cause harm. Even if you know that pest control can be safe when used correctly you may not yet be sure that pest control is safe for humans - but rest assured it can be when done correctly.

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