There are almost 900 different bug killers that can be used in the United States.
The most common symptom of exposure to pyrethroids includes a skin rash. Other, more serious symptoms associated with large exposures include dizziness, tremors, cough, or trouble breathing. If you suspect that someone is having symptoms from any insecticide, call the IPC at 1-800-222-1222.
A small number of insecticides belong to a class known as organophosphates.The chemicals in this class kill insects by disrupting their brains and nervous systems. Unfortunately, these chemicals also can harm the brains and nervous systems of animals and humans. These chemicals stop a key enzyme in the nervous system called cholinesterase from working, and this can make people ill.
Poisoning from organophosphates can happen through:
Please note: Just because you come into contact with an organophosphate does not mean you will get sick from it.
Symptoms of mild organophosphate poisoning may include the following:
Organophosphates can be very toxic. However, certain classes of this group are more poisonous than others. Overall, the effects of an organophosphate will depend on the type of chemical the person comes into contact with, concentration of exposure, length of time and way the person is exposed. A highly concentrated solution or large amount in the air is more likely to cause severe effects, including death.
If an organophosphate is ingested, the person’s stomach may be pumped at a hospital. Other times, the person is given activated charcoal to drink. Activated charcoal is a substance that binds with the poison in the stomach to help the poison pass out of the body naturally. Hospitals and other health care experts have medicines that reverse the effects of organophosphate poisonings.
Prevention of illness after contact:
There is no vaccine for organophosphate poisoning.
If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of organophosphate poisoning, call your healthcare provider or the Illinois Poison Center right away. The toll-free number for the poison center is 1-800-222-1222.
If someone you know is unconscious or having trouble breathing, call 911 to be transported to the closest emergency department immediately.