Skip to main content

Competency Area 8: Protecting Humans from Pesticide Exposure

PO 53. Recognize general procedures to follow if pesticide gets on skin, in eyes, in mouth or stomach, or if inhaled.

Poison on the Skin
• The faster the poison is washed off the patient, the less injury that will result.
• Drench skin and clothing with water (shower, hose, faucet, pond).
• Remove clothing.
• Cleanse skin and hair thoroughly with soap and water. Detergents and commercial cleansers are better than soap.
• Dry and wrap in a blanket.
WARNING: Do not allow any pesticide to get on you while you are helping the victim.

Poison in the Eye
• It is most important to wash the eye out quickly but as gently as possible.
• Hold eyelids open and wash eye with a gentle stream of clean running water.
• Continue washing for fifteen minutes or more. It is important to use a large volume of water. If possible, at least five gallons should be used to flush the eye properly.
• Do not use chemicals or drugs in wash water. They may increase the extent of the injury.
• Cover the eye with a clean piece of cloth and seek medical attention immediately.

Inhaled Poisons (dusts, vapors, gases)
• If victim is in an enclosed space, do not go in after him unless you are wearing an air-supplied respirator.
• Carry patient (do not let him walk) to fresh air immediately.
• Open all doors and windows.
• Loosen all tight clothing.
• Apply artificial respiration if breathing has stopped or is irregular.
• Keep victim as quiet as possible.
• If victim is convulsing, watch their breathing and protect them from falling and striking their head.
Keep the chin up so the air passage will remain free for breathing.
• Prevent chilling (wrap patient in blankets but don't overheat).
• Do not give the victim alcohol in any form.

Swallowed Poisons When should you make the victim vomit?
The most important choice to make when aiding a person who has swallowed a pesticide, is whether or not to make them vomit. The decision must be made quickly and accurately by a health care professional because the victim's life may depend on it. Get help from a physician or the poison control center. .. But it is important to know:
Never induce vomiting if the victim is unconscious or is having convulsions. The victim could choke to death on the vomitus.
Never induce vomiting if the victim has swallowed a corrosive poison.
Never induce vomiting if the person has swallowed petroleum products such as kerosene, gasoline, oil, or lighter fluid. Most pesticides, which come in liquid formulations, are dissolved in petroleum products.