What is a pesticide?
Pesticides are traditionally chemical solutions, used to kill insects and weeds.
What are the different types of pesticides?
Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and rodenticides are all considered common types of pesticides.
What is the health risk associated with using pesticides?
There are several health risks associated with the use of pesticides. Mild poisoning in a person can be detected after exposure to even low doses of pesticides.
Chemical pesticides can:
- cause respiratory problems
- cause skin rashes, blistering or redness
- result in lung injury, if ingested
- cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headaches
- produce nose bleeds
- bring on asthma
- be dangerous to human health if ingested, inhaled, exposed to bare skin or have had contact with a person's eyes
Chemical pesticides are the leading causes of poisonings in Canada.
Who is most at risk?
Children and pets are generally considered to be most at risk of pesticide related health problems. Pregnant women are also highly susceptible, due to weakened immune systems.
What are the environmental risks associated with using pesticides?
There are many ways that using pesticides can harm the environment.
Chemical pesticides can…
- contaminate groundwater
- harm wildlife by producing genetic defects
- destroy beneficial bugs like earthworms and bees (natural predators of pests)
What are the alternatives to chemical pesticides for maintaining my lawn and garden?
There are a number of organic pesticide products on the market now and also many insecticides, fungicides and herbicides that people can make at home. Treating your lawn and garden with these naturally based organic mixtures are a great alternative to using traditional pesticides.
Another option is to incorporate beneficial bugs into your garden such as ladybugs. Ladybugs are the natural predators of aphids which are highly destructive to plants