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The Effect of Pesticides on the Body

Pesticides are chemicals used to control pests and diseases in agricultural crops. While pesticides are effective in protecting crops and increasing yield, they can also have negative impacts on human health. In this article, we'll explore the effect of pesticides on the body.

Exposure to Pesticides

Pesticides can enter the body through a variety of ways, such as ingestion of contaminated food or water, inhalation of pesticide spray, and skin contact. The amount of exposure to pesticides can vary depending on a person's occupation, diet, and living environment. According to the EWG (environmental Working Group) there is the "Dirty Dozen" of produce with high levels of pesticides. The top five produce with the most pesticides in them include; Strawberries, Spinach, Kale, Nectarines, and Apples. Eating non-organic varieties of these foods will increase your exposure to pesticides. The EWG also recommends the foods with the least amount of pesticides. These include; Avocado, Corn, Pineapple and Papaya.

Short-Term Health Effects

Exposure to pesticides can cause a large range of short-term health effects, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and skin irritation. These symptoms may occur immediately after exposure or may take several hours or days to appear, depending on the type of pesticide and the level of exposure. In severe cases, exposure to high levels of pesticides can cause respiratory distress, seizures, and even death with large enough exposure. Some pesticides are also known to cause eye irritation, blurred vision, and difficulty breathing.

Long-Term Health Effects

Long-term exposure to pesticides has been linked to health problems, including cancer, neurological disorders, and reproductive issues. Pesticides can also disrupt the endocrine system, which can lead to hormonal imbalances and developmental problems. Diseases can include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Immune System issues, respiratory problems and more.

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pesticides, as their bodies are still developing. Children have high exposure because of their proximity to the relative ground. Exposure to pesticides during pregnancy can also have negative effects on fetal development and increase the risk of birth defects.

Reducing Exposure to Pesticides

There are several ways to reduce exposure to pesticides, such as choosing organic produce or hydroponic produce, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, and using protective equipment when handling pesticides. In addition, farmers can use integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, which use a combination of biological, cultural, and chemical methods to control pests and reduce the need for pesticide use.


While pesticides can be effective in protecting crops and increasing yield, they can also have negative impacts on human health. Short-term exposure to pesticides can cause immediate health effects, while long-term exposure can lead to serious health problems. To reduce exposure to pesticides, it's important to choose hydroponic produce or organic produce, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, and use protective equipment when handling pesticides.

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