DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH PESTICIDE
Registration of a
pesticide does NOT imply that the pesticide is safe. In fact,
100,000 accidental pesticide exposures are reported to poison
control centers each year. Many of these exposures involve
children, providing clear evidence that current efforts to
protect children by manufacturers and others are inadequate.
There has been a 25
percent increase in kids cancer in past 25 years.
Each day in the United
States more than a million children age 5 and under who eat a
normal diet ingest doses of organic phosphate pesticides that
exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s adult reference
doses, according to a recent analysis of USDA and FDA data.
Twenty million American
children age 5 and under eat an average of eight pesticides a
are intentionally toxic substances. Some chemicals commonly
used on lawns and gardens have been associated with birth
defects, mutations, adverse reproductive effects, and cancer
in laboratory animals.
infants, and fetuses may be especially vulnerable to the
health effects of pesticides before the age of five, when
their cells are normally reproducing most rapidly.
may be more susceptible to loss of brain function if exposed
to neurotoxins, and may be more susceptible to damage to their
pesticides are not tested for their chronic health effects,
unless they are also licensed for food uses. The third most
heavily used herbicide in the U. S., MCPP, has not been fully
tested for chronic health effects since it is not allowed for
use on foods. MCPP is commonly found in weed and feed
has tested only nine of 750 registered pesticides for their
effects on the developing nervous system; six of the nine
tested were more harmful to young animals than adults.
Canadian municipalities have banned or severely restricted the
use of lawn-care pesticides. The Province of Quebec recently
set “the highest standards in North America to decrease
exposure to pesticides” when it prohibited some commonly
used lawn care pesticides (including 2,4-D and MCPP) from use
on public lawns. These pesticides will be prohibited from use
on private and commercial lawns in 2006.
are composed of active ingredients and inert ingredients. Some
inert ingredients may be more toxic than active ingredients
and can comprise 90 to 95 percent of the product. Some inert
ingredients are suspected carcinogens, while others have been
linked to central nervous system disorders, liver and kidney
damage, birth defects, and some short-term health effects.
odds of childhood leukemia, brain cancer and soft tissue
sarcoma have been associated with children living in
households where pesticides are used.10 Other childhood
malignancies associated with pesticide exposures include
neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, Ewing’s sarcoma,
non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, colorectum,
of the insecticide chlorpyrifos were found in 93 percent of
urine samples taken from children ages three to 13. In a
separate study, 99 percent of 110 Seattle area children ages
two to five had detectable levels of organophosphate residues
in their urine
The average apple has four
pesticides on it after it has been washed and cored; some
apples have as many as 10.
There are now more
than 7,000 types of pesticides on the market in Canada.
All pesticides have one thing in common in common - they are
poisons designed to "KILL" things and they have the
potential to kill humans if ingested in sufficient amounts.
Many chemicals, that are initially marketed as "TOTALLY
SAFE" for humans, are later found to be
Since 1996 the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has targeted a large group of
older, riskier pesticides called organophosphates for review
because they pose a potential risk to children.
30 million acres of lawn are routinely treated with lawncare
chemicals. Some of these treated lawns may be toxic to birds.
Recent Canadian studies found that between three and 14 bird
deaths may occur due to pesticides per acre of farmland. It
only takes one granule of diazinon to kill a bird.14 Recent
testing of dead birds for the West Nile virus by the State of
New York found that birds had commonly died from pesticide
poisoning. Lawn-care pesticides were found to be among the
most common causes of death among the birds tested.
U.S. Geological Survey found that 96 percent of all fish
analyzed in major rivers and streams contained residues of one
or more pesticides at detectable levels.
have been identified as a potential cause of amphibian
declines and deformities and have been implicated as one of
the reasons that wild and managed pollinators are disappearing
at alarming rates.
In the 1950s, DDT
was hailed as a safe insect control. More than 30 years
later it was found to be almost completely non-biodegradable.
It remained in the soil and built up in the food chain and
could be deposited in the fatty tissue of humans. DDT
was eventually banned, but its off-spring lindane, dieldrin,
chlordane and other chlorinated hydrocarbons, remained in use.
EDB (Ethylene dibro-mide) was
marketed in the 1950's as an insecticide and a post-harvest
fumigant for fruits, vegetables and grains. In 1984, it was
banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its
carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and reproductive toxicity.
In August of 1999, the EPA announced action against
methyl parathion and azinphos methyl to protect children from
pesticide residues in food.
In 1999 the EPA reached an agreement whereby the
manufacture of chlorpyrifos, or Dursban would be halted by
On December 5, 2000 the EPA announced the elimination of
all indoor uses of the widely used pesticide DIAZINON. Diazinon
is used by homeowners on lawns and gardens. More than 15
million pounds of the pesticide is applied in the us annually
in the US alone.
chemicals have the potential to contaminate underlying
groundwater. The top five selling lawn-care pesticides, 2,4-D,
glyphosate, MCPP, dicamba, and diazinon, are all listed by the
State of California as having the potential to contaminate
groundwater based on their physical and chemical
Studies of major
rivers and streams have documented that 100 percent of all
surface water samples contained one or more pesticides at
unknowingly contaminate their own well water by using
pesticides on their lawns. Factors that influence a
pesticide’s potential to contaminate water include
physiochemical factors, environmental factors, application
methods and other practices associated with the pesticide use.
Only two of the top
five lawn-care pesticides, 2,4-D and glyphosate, are regulated
under the Safe Drinking Water Act, despite governmental
acknowledgement of the intensity of effects of their release
on the environment, and their potential to leach into
An EPA study of 1200 "inert" ingredients in
pesticides, many which remain un-tested, found 122 that could
cause cancer, birth defects, neurological disorders or health
Toxicology and Industrial Health published a study showing that
the natural mix of chemical pesticides and fertilizers – in
concentrations mirroring levels found in groundwater – can
significantly affect immune and endocrine systems as well as
The Canadian Institute for Child Health has found that children
are increasingly at risk of serious diseases from pesticides.
The study also found that "pesticides have NOT been
evaluated for their potential to affect brain
development." The study said cancer rates in children grew
25 percent since 1975.
evidence indicates that when costs of cleanup of polluted
water, replacement of eroded soils and health care costs are
factored in, the price of organic foods are probably the same,
or less, than foods grown with man-made chemicals...Continue
How can products, that are designed to "KILL", be
placed on the market without first undergoing proper tests to
determine any potential health risks to the consumer?
Vote with your dollars and purchase bio based, organic,
fair trade items that support better farming practices and