Note effects of pesticide use, urges CARPIN

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Note effects of pesticide use, urges CARPIN

Monday, February 22, 2021

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Poison Information Coordinator at the Caribbean Poison Information Network, Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh, is appealing for people to be aware of and report any harmful effects from the use of or exposure to pesticides.

She said that this is especially the case for people who are exposed to these chemicals on a regular basis or over an extended period.

“If your body reacts a particular way only when you use that particular chemical you should report it,” she said.

“So, if you notice that you have headaches after handling a particular chemical, you should report it. If you realise that you are feeling nauseous or you're sneezing and it only happens when you are using that chemical, that means that it's the chemical that is affecting you,” she added.

Whitelocke-Ballingsingh said it is important for persons to observe what happens to them when they are using pesticides.

She noted that while the chemicals may affect people differently, some of the common symptoms reported are feeling tired or sleepy, falling unconscious, watery eyes, coughing or feeling disoriented.

In many cases, she said that persons do not seek medical assistance for these symptoms and have reported to CARPIN that they resorted to home remedies and continued with their task.

She stressed the need for people to take these symptoms seriously in order to prevent any long-term effects on the body and health.

Whitelocke-Ballingsingh said that while some persons may not have an obvious, immediate reaction, years of exposure to pesticide use could cause a bio-accumulation of toxins in the body, leading to health problems.

“This is where monitoring is key, because you can be exposed to pesticides over the years and think you have never had any of these clinical manifestations, but maybe, 15 to 20 years later, you are being diagnosed with something,” she noted.

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