If the eyes have been splashed, the face should be washed and the eyes
irrigated with water.
6-29. ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION
a. Acute Toxic Effects of Pesticides. The preceding discussion emphasized
the acute toxic effect of pesticides. These effects can largely be prevented through the
careful storage and handling of pesticide in accordance with guidance contained on the
label and in the appropriate Department of Defense technical publications.
b. Chronic Effects of Pesticides.
Of more concern in recent years, however, are the chronic effects of pesticides resulting
from low-level exposures over long periods of time.
These low-level exposures come, to a great extent, from the pesticide
residues in the environment. The chlorinated hydrocarbons, notably DDT, have come
under particular criticism because of their persistence and the ability of animals to store
their residues in body fat.
This phenomenon leads to a condition referred to by environmentalists as
-- Biomagnification is the successive buildup of pesticide residues in
each link of the food chain as predatory forms of life accumulate in their bodies the
residues present in the bodies of their prey.
-- For example, in a study of aquatic life in Lake Michigan, it was found
that in water having a DDT content of .014 ppm, plankton living in that water had a
content of .4 ppm DDT.
-- The residue found in fish from the same water was 6 ppm, while the
concentration in gulls feeding on those fish was 100 ppm.
-- The same process takes place among land animals, but it is not so
pronounced as with water life. The environmental contamination, which causes this
situation, occurs via three routes of contamination: air, water, and soil
c. Air Route. Much of the pesticide contamination occurs through the air route
by aerial application of liquids or dusts, or by spraying with ground equipment during
unfavorable ground conditions. The following factors are important in aerial dispersal of
pesticides and also, to a lesser degree, in spraying with ground equipment:
(1) Temperature. Spraying operations should be conducted when the
difference between the surface air and the air at higher altitudes is minimal, and when a
normal, or lapse condition exists.