What are Pesticides?
- Pesticides are chemicals that are used in houses and in agriculture to get rid of pests (for example, to kill cockroaches, ants or other insects).
- If you work with pesticides, live near a field, or use pesticides in your home, you and your family could be exposed to pesticides, even if you can’t smell or see them.
- Pesticides can be harmful to people, especially pregnant women and small children. You should avoid contact with pesticides as much as possible.
What can I do if there are pests in my house?
- To avoid having pests in your house, keep pests out by preventing access to food and water.
- Block entry points used by rats, mice or insects.
- Store food in tightly sealed container.
- Fix leaks.
- Keep the kitchen clean.
- Keep garbage in a garbage can with a lid.
Monitoring for pests
- Look under the sink, furniture, and boxes of food to see is there are remains from insects or rodents.
- Use traps for rats and mice instead of poison.
- Use sticky traps (glue) for cockroaches.
If you must use PESTICIDES…
- Use the least toxic method.
- Read the label first.
- Keep pesticides in their original containers.
- Keep your children and their toys away when you are applying pesticides.
- Use traps with bait and gels instead of sprays, they cause less exposure.
- Boric acid is a powder that can be used to kill pests in your house and it is less toxic than other substances.
If you work in the fields…
- Use clothing that protects your body.
- Change your work clothes and leave your work shoes outside before you enter your house.
- Don’t hug or carry your children until you have showered or changed after leaving the field.
- Keep your car clean; vacuum often.
- Store and wash your work clothes separately from the rest of your clothes and your children’s clothes.
- Wash your hands before leaving work and eating.
What can I do to protect my children if I live near an agricultural field?
- Don’t let your children play in the fields.
- If workers are applying pesticides in the fields near your home, don’t let your children or pets go outside. Keep
windows and doors closed.
- Wash your children’s hands often, especially when they come inside and before they eat.
To learn more about specific kinds of pesticides and CERCH’s research findings, visit these CERCH pages:
- Organophosphate Pesticides
- DDT Pesticides and other Organochlorines
- The CHAMACOS Health Outcomes Study
- The CHAMACOS Exposure Study
- The CERCH Environmental Exposure Studies