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Pesticide Dangers


A pesticide is a chemical means of killing insects and other pests.  Many of these pesticides have been developed to kill weeds.  Weeds are considered plant pests by gardeners and farmers.  Prior to the use of chemicals, humans allowed nature’s insecticides to manage the bugs and other insects.  These same people worked outdoors and pulled the plants or weeds that were not wanted.  Over the last century the small organic family farm has been engulfed by large corporations.  Because publicly owned companies are slaves to the bottom line, the managers of these larger farms have chosen a quick fix that requires little manpower or money to control the insects and the weeds.

In 1962 Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published.  Ms. Carson questions the use of chemicals.  Since then the National Academy of Sciences has stated that pesticides may be the cause of many human illnesses and even deaths.  Over the last fifty years the use of chemical pesticides has continued to rise.  However, there has been no reduction in the number of pests.  In fact, we now have super bugs and weeds that cannot be killed.  It seems nothing has been learned from the DDT fiasco that caused the death of so many birds of prey, including the American Bald Eagle.  These chemicals remain in the soil and water supplies.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website discussion of pesticides and food says:

“Infants and children may be especially sensitive to health risks posed by pesticides for several reasons:

their internal organs are still developing and maturing,

in relation to their body weight, infants and children eat and drink more than adults, possibly increasing their exposure to pesticides in food and water.

certain behaviors--such as playing on floors or lawns or putting objects in their mouths--increase a child's exposure to pesticides used in homes and yards.

Pesticides may harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients necessary for normal healthy growth. Another way pesticides may cause harm is if a child's excretory system is not fully developed, the body may not fully remove pesticides. Also, there are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates.

For these reasons, and as specifically required under the Food Quality Protection Act (1996) , EPA carefully evaluates children's exposure to pesticide residues in and on foods they most commonly eat, i.e., apples and apple juice, orange juice, potatoes, tomatoes, soybean oil, sugar, eggs, pork, chicken and beef. EPA is also evaluating new and existing pesticides to ensure that they can be used with a reasonable certainty of no harm to adults as well as infants and children. “ (copied from http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/food/pest.htm April 30, 2011).

A recent study by Harvard links pesticides to ADHD.  A PDF copy of this report is available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-3058v1.  The date of this report is May 17, 2010.

Rather than exposing all to pesticides provide a bat colony a home and let them do them eat the insects, use companion plants, and go outdoors and manually remove the unwanted plants.







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