Responding to Pesticide Poisoning Symptoms
Be alert for the early symptoms of pesticide poisoning. Responding immediately and appropriately when pesticide exposure is suspected will help minimize the effects of exposure and, in extreme cases, may save a life. If you are having symptoms but are unsure if they are pesticide related, at least notify someone in case your symptoms become worse. At this time, call the National Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for guidance on the proper response to your symptoms. This number will direct your call to the nearest poison center, which is staffed on a 24-hour basis.
If safe to do so, take the pesticide container to the telephone. (However, if the pesticide container is contaminated, write down the product name and percentage of active ingredients to take to the phone.) The product label provides medical personnel information such as active ingredients, an antidote, and an emergency contact number for the manufacturer of the product. If you must go to the hospital or doctor's office, take the entire container, including the label, with you. In order to avoid inhaling fumes or spilling the contents, make sure the container is tightly sealed and never put it in the enclosed passenger section of a vehicle.
If the MSDS is available, also take it with you because it frequently contains additional information for medical personnel. In addition to posting emergency numbers or having them readily available by a telephone, keep these numbers in all service vehicles involved in transporting pesticides. Additional pesticide information can also be obtained by contacting the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) located at Oregon State University at 1-800-858-7378. The NPIC provides a variety of unbiased information about pesticides to anyone in the United States. (Medical professionals and government agencies can call NPIC at 1-800-858-7377.)