How Pesticides are Affecting Our Health Adversely?


The chemical burden of the agriculture sector has increased due to industrialization of the agriculture sector. Pesticides are one of the main agrochemicals used in the lands of agriculture, urban green areas, and public health programs which help in protecting humans and plants from the various diseases. But it has the ability to cause negative impacts on the health and also other environmental effects, their side effects are one of the risk factors on the environment. There are adverse effects and in this article we are going to discuss this in detail and how it causes risk to health.


Pesticides are made from the mixture of different substances that are mainly used for agriculture purposes in order to protect plants from disease, pests and humans from the vector-borne disease. This includes diseases like fever, dengue, schistosomiasis and malaria as well. These products are also used for other purposes like maintaining and improving the non-agriculture area. Furthermore, there are many other applications which contain chemical substances including boat bottom, shampoos and building material which in turn eliminates the unwanted species. 

Many of these pesticides are mainly associated with the environment as well as health issues. The exposure to pesticide is caused through the skin, inhalation and also ingestion. There are many negative impacts on the health caused by chemical pesticides including gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogen, endocrine, reproductive and respiratory effects. The residue of the pesticide is also found in beverages as well as foods including water, wine, fruit juice and animal feeds.

Pesticides can cause short-term as well as long-term effects on the health which can take several months or years to effect on health after exposure. Some people are more vulnerable to the disease as compared to the others for example young children and infants are more capable of suffering from the toxic effects of pesticides as compared to others. Even the people who apply pesticides and farmers are at greater risk. 

Acute Effect

Immediate effect on the health due to the exposure from pesticides causes irritation on the skin, nose and throat resulting in itching, burning as well as itching. It is common for them to suffer from diarrhea, dizziness and nausea. People suffering from asthma have the high tendency to suffer from severe reactions from the pesticides particularly organophosphate, carbamate and pyrethrin. In many cases it is seen that they suffer from symptoms of cold and flu due to pesticide poisoning.

Chronic Effect

Chronic health effects like cancer or tumors of the brain or nervous system, infertility, birth defects or any other effect on the reproductive organs. It might take weeks, months and even years to appear or have an impact on one’s health. 

Pesticides have been found to be one of the significant causes for lymphoma, leukemia and cancer of ovaries, testes, prostate and breast. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals present in very low doses but can interfere with the bodily function by blocking the hormone.

Children Being More Vulnerable 

They are more vulnerable to others because their immune system as well as nervous system is still developing. They are not able to remove toxins from the body and excrete the pesticides, this can also cause permanent damage. Most of the exposure of pesticide is caused through the exposure on the skin surface. Children have a high respiratory rate as compared to adults and they inhale airborne pesticides. They also consume more food as well as water in proportion and this also increases their exposure to the pesticide.

Certain Health Effect on The Body Depending On Pesticide

1. Soil Fumigants

It is applied in soil as well as forming gas which is toxic for insects, fungi, insects and bacteria present in the soil. As these gases are capable of moving from the soil to the air and people living near it are getting exposed. This includes symptoms like irritation in eyes, lungs as well as skin.  They contain metam sodium as well as potassium which can cause cancer and will put harmful effects on the reproductive organ.

2. Organophosphates and Carbamates

These pesticides are also known as nerve gas because it interferes with the working  between the nerve signal transmission. This results in symptoms like chest pain, dizziness, diarrhea, confusion, vomiting, nausea and confusion as well. In some severe cases it might also lead to difficulty in breathing, involuntary urination, coma and in some severe cases even death.

3. Pyrethroids

These insecticides are synthetic chemicals that are similar to botanical compounds in structure. It is toxic for the nervous system and especially for pregnant women as it directly affects the fetus. This includes symptoms like fatigue, headache, tremors, salivation, stinging, vomiting and itching on skin.

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Hence, it is concluded that everything has a good as well as bad side so pesticides can help in protecting the plants but can also be dangerous on health. Pyrethroids are one of the severe ones that have a long term effect on health. So, it is important to keep yourself away from the pesticides that are toxic to health in order to maintain good health.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.