Pesticides

POPs Pesticides

Whether you are on a farm spraying your crops or at the grocery store shopping for produce, you may be in contact with Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) including Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Pesticides and not even know it. Health effects that have been associated with chemical pesticides include dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive, and endocrine effects.

Pesticides

POPs Pesticides

Whether you are on a farm spraying your crops or at the grocery store shopping for produce, you may be in contact with Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) including Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Pesticides and not even know it. Health effects that have been associated with chemical pesticides include dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive, and endocrine effects.

What are POPs Pesticides?

If you’ve ever eaten or grown fresh fruits or vegetables, chances are you’ve come into contact with pesticides. These chemical compounds are used across farms, cities and open spaces to control the spread of unwanted pests. Pesticides have been designed to eliminate the most persistent weeds and undesirable creatures from destroying our crops and spreading diseases.

Why Protect Yourself from Pesticides?

As with the other POPs, there is evidence of the bioaccumulation of pesticides in the fats of fish, meat, poultry, and dairy. The numerous negative health effects that have been associated with chemical pesticides include dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive, and endocrine effects. Residues have also been detected in human breast milk samples, causing concerns about prenatal exposure and health effects in children.

Danger lurks where you least expect it

Understanding the dangers

Farmers and farm workers can be exposed to pesticides in agriculture through the treatment of crops, plants and grain stores. Residents living in close proximity to farms can also be exposed to pesticide drift. In urban areas, there may be potential exposure to pesticides through the spraying of amenities, such as parks, pavements and playgrounds. Many people also purchase pesticides off the shelf for home and garden use.

How To Reduce Exposure

Watch out for the following:

Protecting yourself and your loved ones are simpler than you think! Watch out for these common items found at home that may contain POPs Pesticides.

PCB related issues

Due to the use of PCBs (for their fire resistant properties) the electrical and power generation industries are particularly susceptible or even influential with PCB related issues

Contaminated material

Exposure due to direct contact with PCB equipment and contaminated material

Firefighting foams

Due to the use of PFOS/PFAS in firefighting foams this industry is particularly susceptible or even influential with PFAS related contamination issues

Recreational

Recreational use of potentially contaminated areas (where fire-fighting foam was used – including fire-fighting practice areas) can expose children to contamination

Stain/Water Resistant Items

Continuous wearing of clothes or use of carpets treated with PFOS for stain and/or water resistant properties

Flame Resistant Uniforms

Continuous wearing of uniforms treated with flame retardants (HBCD in Flame Resistant Uniforms)

PCB related issues

Due to the use of PCBs (for their fire resistant properties) the electrical and power generation industries are particularly susceptible or even influential with PCB related issues

Firefighting foams

Due to the use of PFOS/PFAS in firefighting foams this industry is particularly susceptible or even influential with PFAS related contamination issues

Recreational

Recreational use of potentially contaminated areas (where fire-fighting foam was used – including fire-fighting practice areas) can expose children to contamination

Direct contact

Direct contact with treated products e.g. carpets, mattresses, upholstery, furniture, textiles, automotive applications and building and construction materials

Clothes

Continuous wearing of clothes treated with flame retardants (HBCD)

Direct contact with Electronics

Continuous direct contact (ingest, inhale, touch) with electrical products/material treated with BFRs e.g. computer monitors, televisions, cell phones and remote controls

Agriculture treatment

Farmers, farm workers and housekeepers can be exposed to pesticides in agriculture through the treatment of crops, plants and grain stores

Landfill disposal

Hazardous waste streams/products such as electronic wastes, pesticide containers and old vehicles should not be comingled with general waste for landfill disposal

Open Burning

Open burning of waste such as green waste, copper cables and plastics can lead to the generation of hazardous emissions including Unintentional POPs

Incineration of Medical waste

If medical waste is incinerated in conditions that do not constitute best available techniques or best environmental practices, there is potential for the release of PCDD and PCDF in relatively high concentrations

Burning of certain materials

Burning of certain materials such as cable wires, plastic and electronics can lead to the generation of unintentional POPs

Smoke

Inhaling the smoke caused by burning copper cables can be dangerous

Cookware and food packaging

PFOS exposure can also occur through releases from cookware and food packaging that are treated with these chemicals

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