Household pesticides are usually considered by most as benign substances. It is also true that in India, there is not enough scientific research that focused on impacts of household pesticides. However, it is obvious that household pesticides can also cause harm to human beings, especially if not used appropriately.
39 different pesticides have been approved by the Registration Committee (one of the regulatory bodies in India) to control household pests in houses. These are meant for control of cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants etc. Some of these have been approved as aerosols, others as gels, coils, liquid vaporizers, mats, baits, chalk, smoke generators etc. Further, there are 4 pesticides approved for protecting buildings from termites, upto December 2010. Further, 6 pesticides are meant for control of stored grain pests. 14 pesticides have been approved for mosquito control under public health programmes. All of this goes to show that even if our agriculture is cleaned up of pesticides, the exposure to other chemicals continues in other ways in our homes, gardens, buildings and habitats. The household insecticides market in India is worth nearly 2000 crore rupees.
The vulnerability of children to household pesticides is quite high, for reasons apparent. It is recommended that well known alternatives to household pesticides be used like baits and traps for rodents, mosquito nets, any neem based products, turmeric, ash etc. for ant control and so on.