State of the art
It is important to comprehend the health risks associated with the application of veterinary pesticides on sheep to avoid grave consequences
Thousands of pounds of pesticides are applied on sheep. The insecticides are used to control numerous pests such as flies, fleas, lice, and mites. Sheep may undergo many applications of various chemical compounds. In humans, exposure to pesticides may happen by direct contact with bare skin. Pesticides may also soak through clothing. Oral ingestion may occur with food or drinking water if they are contaminated with pesticides. Workers may also inhale fumes or aerosols formed during sheep treatment. Exposure may likewise occur during handling the recently treated animals and raw materials.
Toxicity of pesticides that are used on sheep
Pesticide toxicity may vary significantly. Spinosyns and regulators of insect growth possess low toxicity and are comparatively safe. Macrocyclic lactones such as ivermectin are low toxic; the main risk comes from ingestion and droplets that provoke irritation of the eyes. Synthetic pyrethroids are low toxic, but may produce allergic dermatitis. Active compounds in organophosphates possess the highest toxicity and are particularly risky.
What pesticides are used on sheep? Risks to health and environment
Pesticides used on sheep can be dangerous for health and environment. The insecticides malathion, permethrin, and fenvalerate are moderately toxic to humans, but scientists suspect that they may infringe hormonal balance. These insecticides are also toxic to fish and amphibians. Malathion is water soluble and can be transported from the site of application by irrigation waters. Fenvalerate is stable in soil and may easily contaminate groundwater. The traces of insecticide diflubenzuron may remain in the environment several months. Pesticides used on sheep are associated with the harmful effect on the nervous system. Even low doses of pesticides used over the long period may suppress functionality of nerve fibers. Pesticides are also associated with anxiety and depression. Moreover, scientists link the exposure to sheep pesticides with reduced bone growth.
Antibiotics used in sheep
Antibiotics oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline are used for growth stimulation in sheep. Extensive use of these antibiotics contaminate surface and ground waters. As a result, antibiotics are found in drinking water of many rural areas. This application of antibiotics reduces their effectiveness in humans because with time bacteria may develop resistance.
How to avoid pesticides that are used on sheep?
Suitable measures of precaution should be undertaken to diminish the risk of exposure to pesticides used on sheep. One of the ways is to use organic wool. Organic wool is produced from sheep that have not been treated with pesticides. Production of organic wool is important to the lasting health. Estimations show that about 20,000 pounds of organic wool are produced in the United States.