Pesticide Exposure Work Injury
Pesticide Exposure Workers Comp Claim
Pesticides carry a very bad reputation, and rightfully so. Homeowners spray pesticides in relatively small quantities in their gardens to ensure harmful insects can’t destroy their plants. Use at home is primarily safe, since small quantities limits toxic chemical exposure. Farmers on the other hand, use an enormous quantity of pesticides, because they have acres and acres of land to cover. In some cases, farmers hire pilots to fly crop dusting planes filled with pesticides to spray over their fields. Obviously, these conditions increase the chances of toxic chemical exposure occur, particularly for farmers, and those who work the fields to manage the crops, and pick the fruits and vegetables. Illness and chronic diseases resulting from this chemical exposure to toxic substances typically qualifies as a personal injury claim and workers’ compensation benefits. There are very few ways farmers can minimize risk and exposure even though they are aware of the potential risks caused by these chemicals.
If you have been overly exposed to dangerous chemicals at work and have suffered nerve and neurological injuries from prolonged exposure, call me! If you were not provided the proper safety equipment by your employer, and became ill, you need to reach out to me about your workers compensation claim. Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
What Qualifies as a Pesticide in Ohio?
The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website provides information on pesticides and their classification. The website states that the term “pesticide” is a general term that includes, but is not limited to:
Herbicides are chemical agents used for killing or inhibiting the growth of unwanted plants such as weeds and invasive species. Exposure to the toxic chemicals found in herbicides can lead to various injuries:
The health effects of herbicides depend on the type of herbicide, with some affecting the nervous system, while others may irritate the skin or eyes. Some herbicides may also be carcinogenic or affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body.
Insecticides are primarily used to control pests that infest cultivated plants or to eliminate disease-carrying insects in specific areas. The toxic chemicals in insecticides may also cause a host of injuries:
Exposure to insecticides can cause a range of side effects depending on the type of insecticide. Organophosphates and carbamates, for example, affect the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as eye tearing, blurred vision, salivation, sweating, coughing, and vomiting. Frequent bowel movements and urination are also side effects. Blood pressure and heart rate can decrease, and seizures can occur. Breathing may become difficult, and muscles may twitch and become weak.
Rodenticides are pesticides that are used to kill rodents, including rats, mice, squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, porcupines, nutria, and beavers. Rodents can cause damage to property and carry diseases, and so their control may be necessary in certain situations. But, there are toxic chemicals found in rodenticides, and may cause injury:
Signs of poisoning may not appear until hours or even days after exposure. The severity of symptoms may depend on the type and amount of rodenticide ingested. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, dehydration, constipation, and kidney damage.
Fungicides are pesticides used to control parasitic fungi that cause economic damage to crops or ornamental plants. They may endanger the health of domestic animals or humans. There are some toxic chemicals found in fungicides, and exposure can have the effects on humans.
Exposure to fungicides can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Inhalation of spray mist or dust from these pesticides may cause throat irritation, sneezing, and coughing. Long term exposure to lower concentrations of fungicides can cause more severe health effects.
Disinfectants are chemical agents used to destroy or eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms on surfaces. But, while intending to keep us safe, the exposure to toxic chemicals found in disinfectants can have adverse effects on people.
Disinfectants can potentially have harmful effects on human health, especially when used improperly. These effects can include eye and skin irritation, respiratory issues such as coughing and shortness of breath. In severe cases, chemical burns and lung damage can occur. Using more than directed on the label or mixing multiple chemical products together, can increase the risk of harm to individuals. Workers who handle disinfectants should take care to select and use disinfectants properly. Improper handing of disinfectants can be a real health concern to you and your coworkers.
Pesticide Exposure – Health Risks from Pesticide Exposure
Nervous system effects
Some pesticides, such as organophosphates and carbamates, can affect the nervous system and may cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and seizures.
Skin and eye irritation
Pesticides can irritate the skin and eyes, leading to symptoms such as redness, itching, and swelling.
Pesticides can cause respiratory irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Some pesticides have been shown to be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, in animal studies or in human epidemiological studies.
Certain pesticides may interfere with the hormone or endocrine system in the body, leading to developmental, reproductive, and other health effects.
Increased risk for children
Children may be more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides due to their developing bodies and smaller size. The pesticide law requires an extra safety factor to protect infants and children from the effects of pesticides.
Symptoms of Pesticide Exposure
Short Term Exposure
Acute exposure: Short-term, high-quantity exposure that is noticeable can result in acute symptoms that show up rapidly after exposure. These symptoms can be severe and may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin and eye irritation, respiratory problems. In extreme cases, seizures and even death.
Long Term Exposure
Chronic exposure: Long-term exposure to pesticides can lead to chronic symptoms that may not be immediately noticeable. Some chronic symptoms of pesticide exposure may include neurological disorders, memory loss, anxiety, depression, mood changes, trouble concentrating, and weakened immune system. Chronic exposure can also increase the risk of certain cancers and reproductive problems.
Protection from Pesticide Exposure
Long-sleeved shirts and gloves to prevent dermal exposure to arms and hands.
Respirators to protect lungs and the respiratory system.
Goggles and protective glasses to shield eyes.
Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, to protect against skin exposure to the product.
Properly fitting and maintained filtering facepiece respirators, respirator filters, cartridges, or canisters.
Training on Pesticide Safety
These training programs may cover topics such as the proper use and application of pesticides, handling and storage of pesticides, and personal protective equipment.
Warning Signs Where Pesticides have been Applied
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulation issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), employers must post warning signs 24 hours or less before the scheduled pesticide application.
What to Do When You’ve Been Exposed to Pesticides
If you have been exposed to pesticides, the first step is to remove yourself from the area where the exposure occurred and move to fresh air. If pesticide has splashed on your skin, the affected area should be drenched with water, and contaminated clothing should be removed. Skin and hair should be thoroughly washed with soap and water. If there are any symptoms of illness, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of pesticide exposure may vary depending on the type of pesticide, but may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, and eye irritation. It is important to read the label on the pesticide product for specific first aid instructions, and to follow those instructions.
Pesticide Exposure and Workers Compensation Claim
Filing a personal injury claim for workers compensation because you have suffered a chemical exposure injury is within your rights. Washing your hands may have helped with immediate exposure to pesticides, but being subjected to long term exposure to toxic chemicals may have caused serious injury. Although it can take time for the symptoms of this exposure to appear, it is possible to end up with serious health complications. Permanent total disability benefits may be warranted, so it is important to call me right away, so I can help with your workers compensation claims.
If your exposure to chemicals resulted in physical injury or illness, call me today and I’ll Make Them Pay!®