Pesticides are used to control the menace of pests and vermin. Pesticides are sprayed in agriculture to control weeds, diseases, and prevent insect and vermin infestation. Pests can cause large scale damage to crops and spread serious diseases as well. According to estimate 26 to 40% of crops are lost annually due to weeds, pests, and diseases. The adverse effects of pesticides are well known. Pesticides are poisons it can cause short term damage to our health or long term damage due to prolonged exposure.

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Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide. Cardiovascular disease is an ailment of the heart or blood vessels. It is generally associated with deposits inside the arteries and an increased possibility of stroke. Pesticides can cause lipid peroxidation which can cause heart diseases. This peroxidation causes plaque build-up inside the arteries. Chronic exposure to pesticides is linked to an increased risk of coronary artery diseases that can cause heart attacks or strokes.

Men exposed to a high level of pesticides at work are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Farmers, workers who work in pesticide factories and home pest control exterminators are particularly vulnerable. Pesticides can enter the food chain through contaminated water or food.

Pyrethroid insecticide is a common insecticide used in agriculture, public spaces, and households around the world. The chemical accounts for 30% of pesticides worldwide. Pyrethroids enter our bodies through inhalation, ingestion of contaminated water or food, or skin absorption. Forms of pyrethroids can be found in the urine of people exposed to the pesticide.

During the research, the University of Iowa people who have been exposed to pyrethroids are thrice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease. This was collaborated by the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program which had a large sample size of 8000 people. The study was conducted for over 34 years. The exposure to pesticides was estimated using a scale from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that assess occupational exposure for each job. Researchers compared to men who were not exposed to pesticides at work, in the first 10-year follow-up found:-

Approximately 45% of higher risk of heart disease of people who had high-risk exposure. This was adjusted to 42% taking into account other medical factors
There was no significant correlation between low to moderate exposure to pesticides.
The result of pesticides can be found years after exposure. By studying time lags scientist found the maximum effect of pesticide exposure on cardiovascular disease was in the first ten years. The result may vary for women who respond differently to pesticide exposure. Previous studies have indicated that women respond differently to exposure. It has been suggested that hormones may impact the effect of pesticide exposure. These studies have been replicated in Taiwan.

Health care professionals need to be aware of the occupational exposure risks of pesticides at work. The effect of short term and medium-term exposure needs to be studied. There needs to be a reduction in exposure to pesticides alternative farming methods need to be studied by focusing on a more ecological approach. Personal protective equipment should be used while handling pesticides to limit exposure. Protective equipment includes special suits, hats, gloves, shoes, eyewear, and respirators. Farmers and pest control workers must be well versed in handling these dangerous chemicals.

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