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Thursday, May 20, 2010

What Are the Dangers of Pesticides?

I am sure the word pesticide doesn't really give you the warm fuzzies, but do you really know what they are doing to you and your family's health? I have been thinking about it lately as people are planting gardens and farmers are spraying their fields, especially since we have a farm field 50 feet away from my window.

Well, for starters, let's talk about what they are. Pesticides are potent chemicals used inside buildings, on lawns, gardens and used to treat products in your home like carpet, furniture, and other household items. They kill plants, insects, rodents, and other pests. The thing is, they KILL them. If they can kill smaller creatures, what do they do to the human body?

These chemicals are entering into our bloodstream and those of our children and pets through inhalation or through contact with treated surfaces like I mentioned above. A recent study showed more than 1.3 million children - whose developing bodies are most at risk from exposure - younger than age 12 have been poisoned or exposed.

What harm can these pesticides cause?
- Increases in cancer, asthma, and other diseases
- Birth defects and developmental delays
- Damage to the nervous system, liver and kidneys
- Vision and memory problems
- Irritation to the eyes, nose and throat
- Disruption to hormonal systems

In our little children, pesticide exposure is linked to cancer, hyperactivity, developmental delays, behavior problems including ADHD, and physical limitations.

Exposure during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight. Certain pesticides may damage the babies' reproductive system. Pregnant mommies, pay attentiont to this: The greatest risk of exposure may be during the first 3 to 8 weeks when the neural tube development is occurring.

Now, my point is not to make you feel guilty, it is to help you become aware so you can make more informed decisions now and help others do the same. So, feel empowered! You can help make a difference!

Here are a few simple steps to reduce exposure:

1. Avoid using pesticides in your home, lawn and garden. Dandelions never hurt anyone, did they?

2. Use non-toxic treatments to get rid of pests. There are some great organic options out there. I use Shaklee's nontoxic natural cleaner, Basic H2, on all my garden plants and to keep the moles away. It works like a charm.

3. If pesticides are applied near your home, close windows adn turn off the air conditioning so residue isn't drawn into the house.

4. Wipe shoes well, or better yet, make your home a shoe-free zone to prevent pesticides from being tracked all over your home.

5. Buy local, organically grown fruits and veggies whenever possible. If you are buying conventional produce, wash it well. Just a drop of Basic H will clean your produce completely.

I wish you lots of blessings on your journey to safer living and great health!

1 comment:

  1. Yep! And this is why we have just switched to a "green" lawncare and pest control service! Yeah!!!



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