Recent studies show that by the year 2030 one out of every five Americans will be age 65 or older. This fact sheet provides a summary of factors that could increase the pesticide risk for older adults.
What effects could result from pesticide exposures in the elderly?
The liver and kidneys become less able to remove pesticides from the body as we age. Pesticides may speed up aging of the liver or kidneys if these organs are injured during an exposure. Older adults may become even less able to remove pesticides from the body after the liver or kidneys are impacted.
The longer a pesticide stays in the body, the more likely It builds up to levels that may cause injury. Older adults may have health problems after a pesticide exposure, because their bodies can no longer remove pesticides quickly.
Chemicals such as prescription drugs or pesticides can react with each other once they are inside the body.
These chemical reactions may cause unexpected health effects in older adults for two reasons. First, older adults may take more prescription medications.
- Second, chemicals stay in the bodies of older adults longer, so they have more time to interact with a pesticide that enters the body.