Can Overusing Pesticides Trigger Allergies at Home?

At one time or another, homeowners find themselves having a terrible bug or pest problem in their home. Nobody is happy seeing these pesky creatures share the same living space with them within the house. Rodents may have their little nook up in the attic and most bugs happily reside in the small corner of the kitchen, but their domestic presence is generally deemed as a grave annoyance and conveyance of horrible diseases.

Thus, seeing the pests “in the flesh” causes many of us to instinctively reach for a can of pesticide. But while these chemically-formulated pesticides may be found to be effective killers and repellants of pests in the dwelling, many are compelled to ask – can overusing pesticides trigger allergies at home?

Pesticides, whether you use, misuse or overuse them, will always have effects on humans. In our vigilance to keep our home free of ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats, it’s easy for us to overlook the fact that chemical pesticides are toxic substances. They can cause a myriad of side effects in human health varying from sterility to cancer, birth defects, nerve damage and damage to lungs. And one of the most common side effects of all is an allergic reaction.

In the home, there are two common pesticides that are being used – the insecticides and the rodenticides. Insecticides are meant to kill insects; rodenticides are meant to kill rats, mice and other rodents. The truth in their application is that every time you use them, there’s always a possibility to cause acute or chronic allergies.

This is mainly because many people are sensitized to react adversely to the chemicals present in the pesticides. Folks at home can come in contact with these chemical pesticides in many ways: through the skin, through the eyes and by breathing in the fumes. Thus, when allergic reactions are triggered, some people can develop skin irritations, eye itchiness and nose irritations. For some individuals, their asthma will suddenly kick in. Overusing the application of pesticides will certainly aggravate all these conditions severely.

Many studies have also shown links between pesticide use and asthma. In the article “Asthma, Pesticides and Children,” there was a study conducted in 1960s in Hawaii which found that frequent insecticide use for mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches in the household correlated with high incidence of asthma and bronchitis. It was stated also that countless studies have found compelling evidence that pesticide exposure results in high prevalence of asthma.

However, there was one study mentioned in About.com which was published in 2009 which found that early exposure to diazinon in children living in New York found that there was less development of positive allergy tests for these kids. It would seem, therefore, that the use (and possible overuse) of pesticide on this circumstance may have resulted to the elimination of the pests that triggered the allergic reactions of the kids and without the pesticide causing allergic reactions itself.

The results found in 1960s and the study conducted in 2009 certainly has opposing effects. Perhaps, we can attribute this to the many changes which have been made in the formulation of the chemical pesticides nowadays. Besides, the Colorado Environmental Pesticide Education Program claims that, “Few of the thousands of pesticides used today cause true allergic symptoms.” Pesticides are consistently tested for allergenic potential before they are sold in the market.

It is always a good idea to check with your local pest control company for any information regarding the pesticides and allergies.