Pesticides And Pregnancy – How To Stay Safe

Written by on June 26, 2013 in Health - No comments | Print this page

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PregnancyIt is very important to always be cautious when using pesticides because such chemicals endanger health.

If you are pregnant, you must be doubly careful because even though these kinds of dangerous substances might not severely harm you, these could put your fetus in danger.

Babies in the womb are more susceptible to the adverse effects that pesticides bring, and because of that, it’s vital to be as safe as you can be if you are with child.

Fetal Adverse Effects

Everyone is exposed to minute amounts of pesticides each day mainly because a large percentage of commercial agricultural products are treated with chemicals.

These substances protect crops from damaging pests. At home, people also use a variety of products, like flea collars for pets or insect repellents. But when pregnant, it is vital to avoid these as overexposure could cause the following conditions –

1. Cancer

When a mother comes into contact with pesticides, such as through inhalation or skin contact, her baby will also become exposed to the harmful chemicals. Overexposure or regular exposure to small amounts of pesticide could cause the child to develop certain forms of blood cancers, like leukemia.

2. Physical Defects

It is also common for children to develop some form of physical defect due to pesticide exposure. Cleft lips or palates occur, while some suffer limb deformations.

In other kids, the physical defects occur internally. For instance, the heart may fail to form properly or the neural tubes may become defective.

3. Pre-term Birth

A preterm baby, or an infant born before 37 weeks, is at risk because its underdeveloped bodily systems make it harder for the child to adjust to life outside the womb.

The infant could experience respiratory trouble and other developmental failings. It is also possible for a preterm baby to have future health problems, including cognitive or neurological issues.

How to Stay Safe

Avoid exposure particularly during the first trimester and be extra careful all throughout your pregnancy. During the first three months of pregnancy, major changes occur within the womb.

This is the time when the neural tube, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and other vital tissues of the nervous system, develops.

Sensory organs and the digestive tract also form, and cartilage in some parts is slowly replaced with bone. Anything that negatively affects the development of these vital organs heavily impacts the fetus and its future.

In order to avoid exposure, here are a few tips.

- Avoid using pesticides.

If you are pregnant and you need to get rid of insects, ask somebody else to do the spraying for you. Avoid inhaling or even touching chemicals because these can be absorbed through the skin.

In case your home needs to be treated, find a temporary place where you can stay until your house is safe from pesticides. Keep in mind that treatments could leave residues on surfaces, and so your home should be thoroughly cleaned before you come home.

- Do not mix or apply chemicals on your own.

You might need to get rid of the ants in your backyard or some other critter that’s wreaking havoc in your home. But if you are pregnant, do not mix or apply pesticides by yourself. Such activities are more dangerous than indirect exposure.

- Determine if you are living in an agricultural area.

If you are near or if you live in an agricultural district, try to find temporary lodgings if needed. Businesses that produce different kinds of crops often use pesticides to keep common pests away. So, it’s likely for you to become exposed.

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The author, Claire Lassiter, is a freelancer who writes about pest management. Many of her articles provide helpful info about how to handle common household pests, and some of these write-ups have been used by Rove Pest Control Joplin.

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