Pesticides are commonly used throughout the United States for a variety of reasons. The term pesticide refers to insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, disinfectants, and other substances. We use chemicals like these to kill or repel insects, animals, and plants that may damage crops, invade buildings, or spread diseases to human.
When properly used, these chemicals offer a variety of benefits. Crop production has the potential to increase, insect infestations can be combated, and exotic species can be controlled. With that in mind, it’s also important to recognize these chemicals can be incredibly dangerous.
According to the National Environmental Public Health Tracking reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 billion pounds of pesticide active ingredients are used every year, resulting in 20,000 products on the market. In 2012, pesticides were the tenth leading cause of poisoning exposure.
If you have reason to believe that your crops and/or property was harmed by defective pesticides or spray drift, we encourage you to get in touch with the Little Rock defective pesticides and spray drift lawyers from McMath Woods P.A. today. Legal recourse may be an option.
Exposure to pesticides can happen in homes, schools, hospitals, and workplaces. Many households purchase insect repellents, cleaning products, and weed killers – all of which are pesticides. In some instances, because of the widespread use of pesticides used in agriculture, individuals are exposed to low levels of these chemicals in foods and contaminated groundwater.
Common Types of Pesticides
Of the thousands of pesticides on the market, three types of chemicals make up the vast majority.
Carbamates. A carbamate is a type of chemical often found in insecticide sprays for cockroaches, ants, fleas, and other bugs.
Organophosphates. These chemicals are used in herbicides and insecticides. They are used to kill a wide variety of plants and insects.
Pyrethrins/Pyrethroids. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are often found in household insect sprays. Their main purpose is to kill plant-eating insects.
The Consequences of Pesticide Exposure
Exposure to pesticides can occur in a variety of ways, as we previously discussed. Now we need to look at the consequences of that exposure. If you believe you may be suffering from pesticide exposure, you should contact the Arkansas Poison and Drug Information Center and seek medical attention.
The most common side effects of pesticide exposure are eye and skin irritations like burning, itching, and rash. Side effects also include respiratory tract irritation, nausea and vomiting, headaches, or weakness. In more serious cases, individuals may experience birth abnormalities, miscarriage, decreased birth weight, and a host of fertility problems for both men and women.
The long-term exposure to pesticides can result in serious illnesses and conditions. Some of those include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Depression and anxiety
- Cancers like Leukemia and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Now that we’ve examined the types of common pesticides and their health consequences, we need to discuss how these pesticides make people ill.
Defective Pesticides and Spray Drift Damage
There’s often no way to know ahead of time if the pesticide you’re using is defective. Most defects are related to the design or manufacturing. Exposure can also happen if residue remains on the crops you consume or come into contact with.
Spray drift damage occurs when various pesticides are applied to a section of crops and they drift to the neighboring property owners. In order to hold the negligent party accountable for the spray drift, you’ll want to collect as much of the following information as you can:
- Photographs of the damaged crops
- A sample of the damaged crops
- Documentation of wind speed and direction
- Temperature reports
- Statements from witnesses who may have seen the initial application
In the event it seems like the negligent party was spraying pesticides illegally, the Arkansas Agriculture Department will want to conduct an investigation to determine what is really going on. There can be serious consequences associated with the illegal use of pesticides in Arkansas.
It’s important to know that while mistakes are made and individuals are wrongfully injured, there are laws and regulations in place at both the federal and state levels, in an attempt to reduce the injuries sustained from pesticides.
Pesticide Regulations in Arkansas
In conjunction with the EPA’s federal pesticide regulations, Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) establishes state laws for the proper manufacturing, distribution, and use of pesticides.
Their regulations and enforcements address aerial pesticide use, pesticide storage, recordkeeping, security concerns, how to file a misuse complaint, and the Arkansas Pesticide Control Act and Regulations.
The AAD’s Enforcement Response Regulations establishes how the AAD conducts routine inspections for pesticide dealers and commercial applicators. They also issue enforcement actions when the laws and regulations are violated. They are also involved in monitoring groundwater for contamination and pesticides.
Getting Help from an Arkansas Defective Pesticides & Spray Drift Lawyer
In the event you’ve been injured as a result of a pesticide or your land or crops have been damaged, our Little Rock defective pesticide & spray drift lawyers are ready to represent you. We have decades of experience navigating the complex area of environmental law and are prepared to put the time in to get you the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact our law firm for an evaluation of your claim today.