Pesticides and Your Health
Summer is around the corner and for many people that equals more time outdoors. You may spend time planting a flower garden, hiking the mountains, camping by a lake, playing on a sports team, or weeding your vegetable garden. Whatever the case may be, insects or other pests are likely to pose a threat to your enjoyment.
Did you know that pesticide exposure has been linked to health problems including asthma1, cancer2,3,4, Parkinson's disease5, gestational diabetes6, birth defects7,8,9, and Autism10? Studies have also shown links between pesticide exposure and less obvious health conditions11 such as memory problems, skin ailments, respiratory problems12, depression, miscarriages, and neurological deficits.
Total pesticide use in the United States has remained relatively constant at about 1 billion pounds per year. Pesticides are applied to conventional crops in such large volumes that airplanes are used to apply them to large areas of crop land. As many as 14 different chemical pesticides have been detected on a single piece of produce. Due to the development of resistances, new pesticides are constantly being developed.
Five of the top nine pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. are known carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals). All nine are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as Category I and II, which are the most dangerous. During the conversion of conventional cotton into clothing, numerous toxic chemicals are added at each stage. These chemicals commonly include silicone waxes, petroleum by-products, chemical softeners, heavy metals, flame retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde.
Many dangerous chemicals in pesticides are allowed to be sold because no studies are required to prove that small amounts of exposure over time are safe or that mixtures of more than one chemical are safe. Only studies of single chemicals at high doses are studied for toxic effects.
The nervous and endocrine systems of children as well as the unborn fetus are the most vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides. The metabolism, biochemistry, and physiology during that time of life are different than that of an adult. During key periods of brain development, exposure in-utero or throughout early childhood can lead to irreparable damage.
Our recommendations to reduce your exposure to pesticides include:
If you have any questions about our certified organic products, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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