Threat of Pesticides to Infants' Health and Safety:
Pesticides are chemicals that have successfully been used in agricultural production to restrain pests on different crops such as vegetables, cereal grains, fruits, and nuts. As a result, they have become a standard part of most farming operations to an extent that they have contributed to an increase of farm productivity to 82% in the past three decades. However, did you know that pesticides pose a serious threat to the health and safety of infants? How? Because infants can routinely come into contact with these chemicals with inherent toxicity since most of their common surroundings are usually touched by these chemicals.
The purpose of this pamphlet is to examine the threats posed by this environmental factor i.e. pesticides on the health and safety of infants. This evaluation is based on the increased or widespread use of these chemicals even in areas where infants can easily come into contact with them. The pamphlet provides an analysis of health effects associated with pesticide exposure based on how the young are vulnerable to health effects of these chemicals.
Resources Available: There are various resources available to help parents and caregivers of infants understand the serious health effects posed by pesticide exposure to the young. These resources include community resources, national resources, and Web-based resources.
Community Resource #1: The first community resource towards lessening infants' health effects from increased use of pesticides is Parents for Pesticide Alternatives (PPA). This is a non-profit organization formed by several concerned patients in Georgia to increase the availability of organic foods (Mott et. al., 1997). The organization is headed by Phyllis Marburger of Snellville, Georgia in 2678 Colony Cir and can be contacted through 30078-2773.
Community Resource #2: The other community resource for this environmental factor is the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. This program is an initiative towards controlling pests that is heavily dependent on evaluating the existence of pest problems and the required level of infestation mitigation. The approach does not involve applying these chemicals on a weekly or monthly basis but it involves identifying whether treatment is necessary and then looking for the least toxic control method. The contact information for IPM program can be found in schools that have embraced such programs.
National Resource: An example of a national resource is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which is America's most effective environmental action group with grassroots force of approximately 1.4 million members and online activists. The organization has several major priorities including protecting people's health through preventing pollution. NRDC is headquartered in New York City and can be contacted through its website, ephone [HIDDEN], and its offices in other parts of the country.
Web-based Resource: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing (OJIN) is a Web-based resource published by the American Nurses Association. This resource plays a major role in understanding, preventing, and mitigating the health effects of pesticide exposure on infants by producing publications that deal with current topics that affect the wider health care sector. OJIN, which is located in Olmsted Township, Ohio, can be contacted through [HIDDEN] or through their website.
Problem Description: Products that are designed to prevent, kill, thwart, or lessen any pest are referred to as pesticides (Del & Davis, 2007). These chemicals are also used in homes, hospitals, schools, office buildings, and parks to stop unwanted organisms. As the use of these products has increased in the recent past, they have also become a major health threat to infants and children. Their health threats on infants are attributed to their increase in the common surroundings of infants and children. Consequently, infants and children are vulnerable to a series of health effects because of the widespread use and inherent toxicity of pesticides. Some of the major health effects posed by pesticides to infants include leukemia, brain tumors, damage to the nervous system, immune system effects, change of color, and sarcomas, lymphomas and Wilms' tumors. The sources of exposure are indoor air and surfaces, schools, pets, household dust and soil/drift, playgrounds, and food.
Therefore, parents and caregivers of infants should take necessary measures to lessen pesticide exposure and its associated effects. The goal of this pamphlet is to highlight how the environmental factor poses a threat to infants' health and safety, the need for appropriate intervention measures, available community resources, and provide suggestions on accident prevention and safety promotion related to pesticide exposure.
Del, A. & Davis, B. (2007, May 7). Home Environmental Health Risks. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 12(2). Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume122007/No2May07/HomeEnvironmentalHealthRisks.html
Mott et. al. (1997, November 25). Our Children At Risk: The Five Worst Environmental Threats
to Their Health. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://www.nrdc.org/health/kids/ocar/chap5.asp
Shea, K.M. (n.d.). Reducing Low-Dose Pesticide Exposures in Infants and Children. Retrieved March 13, 2014, from http://action.psr.org/site/DocServer/Reducing_Low-Dose_Pesticide_Exposures.pdf?docID=663
Importance of the Topic: Pesticide exposure has been a major health effect concern in the past few years because of its widespread use in agricultural production and inherent toxicity. This issue is an important topic of discussion because of various reasons & #8230;
One of the major reasons for examining the issue is to promote the safety and health of infants by addressing factors that pose serious health threats to them. This is achieved through an understanding of the risks posed by the chemicals, necessary intervention measures, and how to protect infants from such exposure.
Secondly, this topic will contribute to the development of effective ways for the use of pesticides to benefit individuals rather than harm them. In essence, an evaluation of the topic generates considerable information on how to use the chemicals for the benefit of society.
Third, the topic will contribute to the development of evidence-based research on effective intervention measures to promote infants' health and safety in light of increased pesticide exposure and inherent toxicity.
Direct Care Experience: This pamphlet was shared with a parent of an infant from a child-care center in the community. The parent is a 33-year-old single mother who's a child is a 5-year-old boy learning in the child-care center. She has a Degree in Business Administration and relatively minimal knowledge on the health effects of this environmental factor. She was responded positively to the teaching and demonstrated grasp of the information provided in the pamphlet. The teaching experience went well because it acted as a platform to create awareness of the serious threats posed by pesticides on the health and safety of infants.
According to the findings of evidence-based research, there is growing evidence that exposures to various pesticides may be linked to adverse effects, especially when exposures take place during critical periods of development in early life (Shea, n.d.). While these chemicals are present in food, air, soil, water and all settings and living conditions, infants and children are the most highly exposed and affected age group. In the past few years, parents have increasingly expressed concerns regarding the potential health effects of pesticides exposures to children. Clinical responses to the effects of pesticides exposure on infants include interventions at the individual level, community level, and national level.
An example of an intervention measure to prevent the effect of pesticides on infants occurred in the previously given example. In this case, the 33-year-old mother committed to undertake certain measures at the individual level. These measures include practicing integrated pest management at home, careful maintenance of household structures, using chemical pesticides only in cases of serious infestations, and choosing certified organic foods.
The second example is at the community level is the scenario at Snellville, Georgia when Phyllis Marburger convinced her local Kroger's Supermarket to stock organic food items. Following the petition, the supermarket started to stock a wide variety of organic vegetables and fresh fruits as well as organic processed foods. This intervention contributed to the significant reduction of incidents involving…