Pesticide Poisoning at the Workplace

If you work in agriculture such as farming, orcharding, fruit or vegetable packing, landscaping, or any other type of employment that you use or are exposed to pesticides, you may be at risk. Pesticides are used everywhere: at home, in our food, in parks, on the side of the street, and at our places of work. While they increase food production and cut down on the hassles of manually taking out unwanted plant and insect life, pesticides come with a long list of incredibly nasty health complications. From causing asthma, growth issues in children, cancer, and even death, pesticides are a growing problem. If you or a loved one has suffered any health consequences from working with or working around pesticides, you may be able to be compensated. This compensation can help pay the medical bills that have piled up, cover lost wages while you are out of work, and help provide for your family if pesticides have caused an ongoing illness. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at once to learn more about your legal options.


The Purpose of Pesticides


Pesticides are used to eradicate unwanted plant and animal life, while not harming the desired plant life. Pesticides are used to kill pesky insects or plants that take away nutrients from the prized bed of flowers in your backyard or a 20 acre plot of strawberries in California. The result is the same: a healthy looking plot of land void of grass, weeds, and chewed leaves. What is not visible is the pesticide residue that stays on the fruit or vegetables that will eventually be eaten, or the the pesticide that rubs off on the clothes of the workers (or is breathed in or consumed by them) who are exposed to these toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Those who are exposed to pesticides the most frequently are at the greatest risk of developing health issues.


Roundup (Glyphosate) Causes Cancer and Other Diseases


The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate, which is the most used pesticide on the market. And, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), Roundup (or glyphosate) is a probable human carcinogen. It causes infertility, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer, and is used heavily in the U.S. In 2007, U.S. farmers used 185 million pounds of glyphosate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is also used for home lawn and garden care, to clear city-maintained areas of unwanted vegetation, in golf courses, in front of business, and virtually anywhere that calls for a manicured look.


The Dire Health Consequences of Pesticides


Unfortunately, those hit hardest by pesticides are those who live and work in or near farms. Farming communities have the highest rates of , skin cancer, leukemia,lip cancer, multiple myeloma, brain cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma, as reported by the National Cancer Institute. Being exposed to pesticides for more than a year (chronic exposure) increases the chances of the cancers and diseases listed above, as well as birth defects, damage to both the genetic and immune systems, and asthma. Short term pesticide poisoning is also a threat, and includes headache, vomiting, nausea, pinpoint pupils, diarrhea, rashes, and irritation of the eyes, ears, skin, and throat, according to the California Department of Public Health. If you or a loved one has suffered health issues from being exposed to pesticides at work, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at once.