What's Bugging you? First Aid for Bites and Stings

Insects Abound in Spring

It's a fact, insects are everywhere, biting, stinging, and causing general malaise.

They can be wickedly dangerous to humans, but they serve a vital purpose in our ecosystem.

Protect yourself with good Insect Repellent, but remember that most people think about applying repellent AFTER they've been bitten or stung, so stock up on Sting Relief Products, too!

First Aid for Bites and Stings

insectrepellents-animated[1]General care of bites and stings:

• Immediately wash the bite or sting with soap and water if available, or use antiseptic wipes if soap and water are not available.
• Put an ice pack on the affected area with a cloth barrier between the ice and skin. If treating a bee sting, remove the stinger first (see below).
• Never attempt to suck out any venom or poison with your mouth!
• Never apply a tourniquet.
• Do not use folk remedies or unproven treatments to care for the casualty.
• Do not give the casualty caffeinated drinks, alcohol, or aspirin.

Bee Stings

• Remove the stinger carefully using a scraping motion. Use a credit card, finger nail or other dull edge to take out the stinger without squeezing the venom sac.
• Do not use tweezers to remove the stinger. Tweezers could squeeze the venom from the sac into the skin.
• If the casualty has difficulty breathing and/or swelling of lips, face or neck area, call 9-1-1 or activate EMS immediately! If the casualty has an EPI-pen, help them self-administer the injection (if trained to do so).

Spider Bites

Most spider bites are not harmful and few of those which are harmful are truly dangerous or life-threatening to humans. In North America, the Black Widow (characterized by a black, shiny body with a red hour glass figure on its underside) and Brown Recluse (characterized by a dark brown, violin-shaped marking on the top portion of its body) spiders can be dangerous and may be deadly to some humans. These bites will most likely require medical attention.

• Keep the casualty calm and immobilize the bitten area. Keep the bitten area lower than the heart.
• Wash the bite with soap and running water.
• Seek medical attention if the bite is thought to have come from a Black Widow or Brown Recluse. Call 9-1-1 immediately if the casualty has trouble breathing, severe pain, muscle cramps, vomiting or loses consciousness.

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Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products

See a list of Givernment and Private respources on Pesticides:

Government Agencies:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
More than 100 million workers and 6.5 million employers are covered under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which covers workers in pesticide manufacturing. OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2100 inspectors, plus investigators, standards writers, educators, physicians, and other staff in over 200 offices across the country. OSHA sets protective workplace standards, enforces the standards, and offers employers and employees technical assistance and consultation programs. Note that some states have their own OSHA.

OSHA/US Department of Labor
Room N3647
Constitution Ave NW
Washington DC 20210
Tel: 202-219-8021

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Extension Service
USDA's Extension Service works with its university partners, the state land-grant system, to provide farmers and ranchers information to reduce and prevent agricultural-related work incidents. The Pesticide Applicator Training program trains applicators in the safe use of pesticides and coordinates pesticide-related safety training programs.

14th & Independence SW
Washington DC 20250
Tel: 202-720-2791
Cooperative Research and Extension Services

National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control (NCEH)
NCEH provides environmental pesticide case surveillance and disease outbreak investigations.

Mailstop F29
4770 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA 30341
Tel: 770-488-7030

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control (NIOSH)
NIOSH is the federal agency responsible for conducting research on occupational disease and injury. NIOSH may investigate potentially hazardous working conditions upon request, makes recommendations on preventing workplace disease and injury, and provides training to occupational safety and health professionals.

Humphrey Building, Room 715H
200 Independence Ave SW
Washington DC 20201
Hotline: 1-800-356-4674

NIOSH Agricultural Health and Safety Centers
NIOSH has funded eight Agricultural Health and Safety Centers  throughout the country which involve clinicians and other health specialists in the area of pesticide-related illness and injury. The NIOSH-supported centers are:

Non-Governmental Organizations:

National Pesticide Information Center
The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) is a cooperative agreement program of the U.S. EPA and is currently based at Oregon State University. NPIC serves as a source of objective, science-based pesticide information on a wide range of pesticide-related topics, such as recognition and management of pesticide poisonings, safety information, health and environmental effects, referrals for investigation of pesticide incidents and emergency treatment for both humans and animals, and cleanup and disposal procedures. A toll-free telephone service provides pesticide information to callers in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additionally, pesticide questions and comments can be sent to an e-mail address. The Web site has links to other sites and databases for further information.

NPIC hotline: 1-800-858-7378
E-mail address: npic@ace.orst.edu

Poison Control Centers:

For a list of state and regional poison control centers, or the nearest location, consult the National Pesticide Information Center.

Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC)
Network of 63 clinics representing more than 250 specialists.

1010 Vermont, Suite 513
Washington DC 20005
Tel: 202-347-4976

American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators
AAPSE maintains a list of Web resources by state, with links to program information, newsletters, journals, and other resources for pesticide educators, including guidebooks for evaluating pesticide applicator training programs and guides to EPA regulations.


Pesticide Databases:

Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET)
The Extension Service's Toxicology Network, EXTOXNET, provides science-based information about pesticides to health care providers treating pesticide-related health concerns. Pesticide toxicological information is developed cooperatively by the University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and the University of Idaho.

The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) is an electronic database on human health effects that may result from exposure to various chemicals in the environment. IRIS is intended for those without extensive training in toxicology, but with some knowledge of health sciences. It provides hazard identification and dose-response assessment information. Combined with specific exposure information, the data in IRIS can be used for characterization of the public health risks of a chemical in a particular situation that can lead to a risk management decision designed to protect public health. Extensive supporting documentation is available online.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
ATSDR (part of the Department of Human Health and Services) publishes fact sheets and other information on pesticides and other toxic substances.

California Pesticide Databases
Includes Pesticidal Chemical Ingredients Queries, links to USEPA/OPP's chemical dictionary, Product/Label Database Queries (updated nightly), a current listing of California's Section 18 Emergency Exemptions, and more.

Registered and Cancelled Pesticides
Using EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs database, California's Department of Pesticide Regulation has developed query forms for OPP's Registered and Cancelled Pesticide Product Database, OPP's Chemical Ingredients Database (Chemical Nomenclature, Current Products & Registrants), and OPP's Company Information Database.

Publications for Health Care Practitioners

Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings, James R. Roberts and J. Routt Reigart, 6th Edition. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, June, 2013.

Signs and Symptoms of Pesticide Poisoning,  Larry D. Schulze, Clyde L. Ogg, and Edward F. Vitzthum, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. EC97-2505-A

Physician's Guide to Pesticide Poisoning,  Douglass E. Stevenson. Texas Agricultural Extension Service, Texas A & M University, College Station, undated.

First Aid for Pesticide Poisoning,  David E. Baker, Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Missouri-Columbia, Agricultural publication G01915, 1997.

Pesticides and National Strategies for Health Care Providers: Workshop Proceedings, U.S. EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, July 1998. Available through NSCEP, #EPA 735-R-98-001.

Published Papers

An Assessment of Worker Training Under The Worker Protection Standard, produced by Dr. Alice Larson, with the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic Work Group on Pesticide Safety. A comprehensive review and evaluation of worker pesticide safety training programs, materials, and compliance. Executive Summary (72 KB, PDF); Final Report plus appendices (304 KB, PDF)

Blondell, J. "Epidemiology of pesticide poisonings in the U.S., with special reference to occupational cases." Occupational Medicine: State of the Art Reviews,Vol. 12.2. April- June, 1997.

Publications on the Worker Protection Standard

A Guide to Heat Stress in AgricultureU.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1994. Available through GPO, Doc. #055-000-00474-9. 

A National Dialogue on the Worker Protection StandardPart I: Transcripts of the Public Meetings, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 735-R97-001, March 1997, 368 pp. Available through EPA, 703-305-7666.

Controlling Heat Stress in AgricultureU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, card, 1996. Lists the key elements and basic steps to controlling heat stress in agriculture. 8x4 in. Sold in packages of 25 only. Available through GPO, English: Doc. #055-000-00557-5, $3.00. Spanish: Doc. #055-000-00558-3, $4.50. 

Controlling Heat Stress Made Simple/Maneras Sencillas de Controlar la Fatiga Causada por el CalorU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, poster, 1995. Explains the symptoms of heat stress. Presents a summary of key points to follow for controlling heat stress as well as an outline of a comprehensive program. Spanish edition on reverse side. 21x24 in. Available through GPO, Doc. #055-000-00544-3,$1.25. 

ESL for Farm Safety: AFOP's Working with English Series. Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs. A low literacy English-as-a-Second Language text that teaches farmworkers how to be safe with pesticides and prevent agricultural injuries. $25 per Teacher's Manual, $12 per Student Workbook. Available from AFOP, 1611 N. Kent St., Suite 910, Arlington, VA 22209, tel: 703-528-4141, fax: 703-528-4145, www.afop.org. 

Guidance Manual for Selecting Protective Clothing for Agricultural Pesticides OperationsU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, September 1993. Available through NSCEP, #EPA 736-B-94-001.

Protect Yourself From Pesticides/Protejase de los PesticidasPoster, 1993. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, printed in English and Spanish. Contains nine illustrations of agricultural settings with captions indicating safety procedures for exposure to pesticides. 24x36 in. Available through GPO,  Doc. #055-000-00444-7, $1.50.

Protect Yourself from Pesticides: Guide for Agricultural Workers/ Protejase De Los Pesticidas: Guia Para Los TrabajadoresU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, July 1993. In English and Spanish. Available throughNSCEP, #EPA 735-B-93-002.

Protect Yourself from Pesticides--Guide for Pesticide HandlersU.S. Environmental Protection Agency, December 1993. Available through NSCEP, #EPA 735- B-93-003.

Insect Repellent & Sting Relief Products


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