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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 43 / 104





43 / 104

Avoiding Heat Stress (continued)

cramps. If there is a chance that stomach cramps are being caused by pesticides rather than salt loss, get medical help right away.

It is not always easy to tell the difference between heat stress illness and pesticide poisoning. The signs and symptoms are similar. Never waste time trying to decide what is causing the illness. Get medical help right away. Severe heat stress (heat stroke) is a medical emergency! Cool the victim immediately. Brain damage and death may result if treatment is delayed.

First Aid for Heat Stress

  • Get the victim into a shaded or cool area.

  • Cool the victim as rapidly as possible by sponging or splashing the skin, especially around the face, neck, hands, and forearms, with cool water or, when possible, immersing in cool water.

  • Carefully remove all PPE and any other clothing that may be making the victim hot.

  • Have the victim, if conscious, drink as much cool water as possible.

  • Keep the victim quiet until help arrives.

First Aid for Skin Exposure

  • Leave the area where the exposure occurred to get away from the vapors, spilled pesticide, and prevent further contamination.

  • If a person has stopped breathing after being exposed to the pesticide, call 9-1-1 and then immediately begin artificial respiration (rescue breathing) at once and continue until breathing resumes or until professional help arrives. If the person has stopped breathing and has no pulse, call 9-1-1 and then immediately begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and continue until professional help arrives.

  • Remove the contaminated clothing and thoroughly wash the affected skin and hair areas, using soap or detergent and large amounts of water.

  • Call an ambulance or have someone transport the injured person to the near- est medical facility as quickly as possible.

First Aid for Eye Exposure Do not wear contact lenses when working with sulfur dioxide or chlorine vapors.

  • Leave the area where the exposure occurred to get away from the vapors, spilled pesticide, and further contamination.

  • Immediately flush the affected eye or eyes with a gentle stream of clean, running water. Hold eyelids open to assure thorough flushing and continue flushing for at least 15 minutes. Immediate and thorough decontamination of the eyes is essential to reduce the severity of damage. Most damage usually occurs before medical attention arrives. The 15-minute eyewash is very im- portant, as some materials will continue to be drawn out of the eye membrane as rinse time is prolonged.

  • If running water is not available, slowly pour clean, unchilled water from a glass, water cooler, or other container onto the bridge of the nose, rather than directly into the eyes.



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