Weeds are plants that negatively affect cultivated plants, taking away resources like light and water that they need to grow. Research done on the popularity of weedkillers found that over 16 million kg of it is used worldwide, with 15% of it being used in America alone. Not only is it used in the professional field of agriculture and farming, but in home gardens as well.
With so many things that can negatively affect growing plants, people have resorted to spraying substances on vegetation for protection. One example of this is pesticide, which kills any unwanted insects living off the crops. The downside is that they can sometimes contain dangerous chemicals like Neonicotinoids, which can inadvertently harm your local ecosystem. Another common example are weedkillers, which are used to lessen the amount of unwanted plant growth. Although, it is highly toxic, if accidentally consumed, it will cause poisoning and may cause mild to severe effects.
Symptoms of weedkiller poisoning
There are many active ingredients in herbicides that can cause symptoms in the body. One of the most widely used ones is Paraquat. It is highly toxic and can be ingested unknowingly by inhalation or the consumption of tainted products.
Most people will only experience exterior exposure, leading to itchiness, irritation, or inflammation. Those who accidentally ingest it may feel abdominal pains, diarrhea, and nausea almost immediately. They may also experience gastrointestinal problems which can cause dehydration and hypertension. Organ failure may follow if symptoms aren’t treated immediately and properly.
If you believe you or someone has ingested weedkiller by accident, the first thing to do is check the label of the chemical. Often times they carry first aid instructions. If the person who is suffering is having trouble breathing, convulsing, or is unconscious, call 911 immediately. They will help guide you with further instructions.
If the victim managed to get the herbicide on their skin or in their eye, immediately clean the affected area. Do not use eye drops as mixing chemicals may worsen the effects. If the chemicals were inhaled, immediately go to an area with fresh air before calling for help. They may need a respirator to cleanse their system, so professionals will have the right equipment to treat them.
How to avoid it
Wash your produce
In the pandemic, washing fruits and vegetables has become the norm for getting rid of bacteria and viruses, but it is also effective in removing harmful chemicals. The Food and Drug Administration states that there is no need to use soap and that thoroughly rubbing produce under warm water can make a big difference. This will not only ensure that what you are eating is clean, but it will lessen the chances that you will accidentally eat any harmful herbicides.
Use natural weedkillers at home
Oftentimes, heavy-duty weedkillers are only allowed to be used by licensed entities, but this doesn’t mean that the everyday ones aren’t toxic. This is why it is important to try and find natural alternatives. A guide on weedkillers by SymptomFind suggests using vinegar as an effective agent because it can dry out weeds. Mix a gallon of white vinegar with a tablespoon of dish soap to create a concoction that is safe and effective to use at home.
Try buying from trusted organic sellers
Another way you can avoid exposure to harmful herbicides is by buying organic produce. Though they still contain weedkillers and pesticides, the mixtures used are usually required to pass certain requirements set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This means that they are non-synthetic and make use of naturally occurring materials. A trusted organic seller that carries the USDA’s seal of approval will only distribute products that are safe and healthier to eat.
With the negative effects herbicide can have on humans, it is important to know the symptoms of weedkiller poisoning and its causes so you can avoid it as much as possible. It is also important to lessen exposure to these harmful chemicals using some of the tips on this list.
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