Hesperian Health Guides

Pesticides Cause Many Health Problems

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > A Community Guide to Environmental Health > Chapter 14: Pesticides Are Poison > Pesticides Cause Many Health Problems

A person exposed to pesticides may have more than one sign of illness. Some signs show up at the time the person is exposed. Other signs do not show up until hours, days, or even years later. (For more on health effects of toxic chemicals, see Chapter 16.)

Many people are exposed to pesticides but may not know it. Laundry workers, garbage and recycling workers, and others who have direct contact with pesticides may be in just as much danger of poisoning as farm workers. They should be aware that there are pesticides in their environment, and they should follow the same precautions as farm workers.

Signs of pesticide poisoning
EHB Ch14 Page 252-1.png
Pin-point pupils
Nose and mouth: runny nose, drooling
Chest and lungs:
pain, breathing problems, coughing
pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Other general signs of and tingling in fingers pesticide poisoning are:
Confusion, weakness, trouble walking, trouble concentrating, muscle twitching, restlessness and anxiety, bad dreams and trouble sleeping
Head and eyes:
headaches, vision problems, small pupils in the eyes, tears
Legs and arms:
muscle cramps or pains, twitching
damage to fingernails, numbness and tingling in fingers
itching, rashes, bumps, redness, blisters, burning, sweating too much

If you have any of these problems while working with pesticides, leave the worksite immediately. Do not wait until you feel worse. Get away from the pesticides and go to a hospital or clinic right away!

Signs of severe poisoning:
A man lying sprawled out on the ground.
Severe pesticide poisoning can kill.

Unconsciousness, loss of control over bladder and bowels, blue lips and fingernails, shaking