Are There Pesticide Hazards in Your Home?
Pesticides are a year-round hazard in many homes. Whether you're fighting ants, yard grubs, wasps, fleas or mosquitos, constant exposure to pesticides is dangerous for you, your family and your pets.
What is a Pesticide?
A pesticide is a chemical that is used to prevent, destroy or repel pests. Most pesticides contain chemicals that are harmful to people, animals or the environment. After all, they are designed to kill. When you think of pesticides, products like cockroach sprays, flea and tick sprays, mosquito sprays and rat poisons probably come to mind. But, did you know that these common products are also considered pesticides?
- Disinfectant cleaners
- Cleaning products that remove mildew
- Household plant sprays
- Some swimming chemicals
What Should You Do If You Get a Pesticide In or On Your Body?
First, talk to your kids about the dangers of household pesticides and instruct them to tell you immediately if a spill occurs.
When cleaning up a spill, wear protective gloves to keep the product off your skin. Follow all manufacturer safety warnings.
If you splash a household chemical in your eyes:
Rinse your eyes for 15-20 minutes in the shower or under a faucet. Do NOT apply eye drops or add any substances to the wash water. Then, call the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. If pain persists, call 911.
If you splash a household chemical on your skin:
Remove the wet clothing and flush your skin for 15-20 minutes in the shower or under a faucet. Then, call the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. If pain persists, call 911.
If you ingest a household chemical:
Drink half a glass of water. Then call 911 and the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222. Do NOT take activated charcoal.
If you inhale a poisonous gas:
Quickly get to fresh air. Open all the doors and windows. Call 911 and the National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.
As in any emergency, if someone is not breathing or is unresponsive, call 911.
Keep the poison control hotline next to your phone, on your fridge or programmed in your cell phone, especially if you have young children. You can also get help online at poison.org.
For More Information
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a wealth of information related to pesticides and other poisonous substances. Knowing where and how to store these products will help keep you and your family safe at home.