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Work Related Pesticides Poisinong


Pesticide is a substance which is used for destroying and controlling pest. Examples of pesticides are paraquat, organophosphate, organochlorine, glyphosate and carbamate. Although pesticide is useful to control pest and increase crop yield, its chemical content is also harmful to human.

How can pesticide poisoning occur?

A person can be exposed to pesticide via 3 main routes:

  1. Ingestion of food or water containing or contaiminated with pesticide
  2. Skin which is in contact with pesticide
  3. Breathing of air containing pesticide

Workers at Risk.

What type of workers are at risk of developing work related asthma?

Examples of high risk workers are:

  • Farmers
  • Plantation/Estate workers
  • Pesticide Factory workers

Signs & Symptoms

Exposure to pesticide can cause harm to the body. Health effects of pesticide can be :

  • Immediate effect- such as headache, nausea, sweating, skin irritation or even death.
  • Long term effect – such as tremors, forget, poor memory, poor concentration, yellow eye (jaundice) and tiredness.


What are the worst condition which can occur in pesticide poisoning ?

  • Permanent damage to organ such as kidney, liver, lung, nerve and infertility.
  • Death.


Prompt, first aid treatment is very important in the case of poisoning to save the life of affected person.

  • Bring the affected person to a safe place which has good ventilation (Example: Open air area)
  • Remove the contaminated clothing
  • Do not force the affected person to vomit
  • Wash body area which is contaminated with pesticide using lots of water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Send the affected person to hospital as soon as possible
  • Bring the pesticide container involved in the poisoning to hospital together with the patient.

Prevention of pesticide poisoning

How can I prevent pesticide poisoning?

  • Make sure you know what type of pesticide you are using or handling
  • Follow strictly the instructions provided by the manufacturer while handling pesticide at all times.
  • Follow safe handling practice
  • Label pesticide container correctly
  • Store pesticide in a locked cupboard and isolate pesticide from other items.
  • Do not transfer pesticide into another container.
  • Do not reuse empty pesticide container for other purposes.
  • Dispose all empty pesticide containers by burying in a suitable place or send them to special designated agent.
  • Use suitable and proper personal protective equipment.

What is safe handling practice?

  • Use proper attire and proper personal protective equipment.
  • Do not use bare hand when mixing pesticide
  • Do not eat, smoke or drink while handling pesticide
  • Pesticide spray should follow direction of wind blow
  • Wash exposed body parts or take a bath immediately after handling pesticide

What is proper attire for handling pesticide?

  • Long sleeve and long pants
  • Hat
  • Plastic apron
  • Safety boots
  • Rubber glove
  • Facial mask
  • Goggles
  • Respirator


According to Occupational Safety and Health (Notification of Accident, Dangerous Occurrence, Poisoning and Occupational Diseases) Regulation 2004, it is the responsibilities of :

  • Employer
  • Attending medical practitioner

To notify work related poisoning to Department of Occupational Safety and Health.

Futher reading

For further information please e-mail to: ohealth@dph.gov.my

For more information regarding poisoning: National poison centre

Last Reviewed : 10 May 2012
Writer : Dr. Sirajuddin Hashim
: Dr. Nor’Aishah Abu Bakar
: Dr. Abu Hassan Shaari Abd Kadir
Reviewer : Wong Swee Fong