Pesticides and Herbicides Dangerous For Us All

The dangers of pesticides and herbicides, for people both young and old, are being uncovered in study after study.

Since everything on our planet is connected, it makes sense to us that a compound created to poison one thing would also effect others.  We did some digging and came across a number of articles that have been edited or condensed below for your edification. 

There are numerous studies that prove or indicate that pesticides and herbicides effect our hormones, may cause breast, brain and lung cancer (among others), weaken our immune systems, cause birth defects, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, brain damage and ADD. (See http://www.chem-tox.com/pesticides/ 1)
The EPA website says:  “Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.  However, these effects depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it is consumed. Some pesticides also pose unique health risks to children.”
From an article by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., and Mary Landrigan, M.P.A. (Rodale Press, 2001) 2: 

 “When you spray pesticides to kill garden or household critters, douse your lawn with chemical herbicides, or spray your dog for fleas, you're also exposing your kids (and yourself) to these toxins. Think about it: These concoctions are designed to kill insects and weeds. Even if you use them as directed, they still have the potential to cause a wide range of health problems in people because of their toxicity.  For Example:

1. No one guarantees the safety of pesticides. Just because a product is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn't mean it's safe.
2. Pesticides have been traditionally treated as "innocent until proven guilty" by regulatory authorities. A generation ago, pesticides were considered to be relatively safe and effective chemicals that produced significant benefits to society.
3. Many older pesticides have not been thoroughly tested by today's standards. These pesticides are still commonly used even thought complete testing of these older pesticides will take at least another 10 years.
4. Most pesticides in use today have not been tested for their health effects on children. This is a major problem. Recent scientific studies involving laboratory animals show that many pesticides damage the developing brain and nervous system.
5. Certain types of pesticides mimic hormones. Scientists have discovered that some pesticides have the ability to mimic or compete with hormones (the chemicals in our body that trigger development and functioning.
6. Many herbicides are known, probable, or suspected carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals).”

The US and other industrialized countries are experiencing an asthma epidemic. The incidence of asthma in Americans has roughly doubled since 1980. It is now the most common chronic disease in the children of the United States.

An article from Our Stolen Future 3 comments on this epidemic “[There are] significant increases in asthma risk associated with exposures experienced early in childhood. Of the several risk factors they studied, the strongest associations they found were with exposures to herbicides and pesticides in infancy, and attending daycare before the age of 4 months. Children exposed to herbicides before the age of 1 were 10 times more likely to develop early persistent asthma ….”

From a February 19, 2006 press release:

 The Center for Children’s Health and the Environment stated “We believe that the scientific case supporting the need to significantly reduce prenatal and childhood exposures to pesticides has greatly strengthened over the last decade since passage of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) in 1996.  Evidence of the developmental neurotoxicity of several commonly used pesticides is particularly compelling.”4

Pesticides and herbicides not only effect the young.  We discovered that a new Harvard study has linked pesticide exposure to a 70% increase in Parkinson's disease. The study, which is the largest ever conducted, was released in the July 2006 issue of the “Annals of Neurology”. This research backs up earlier animal studies linking pesticide exposure to brain and nerve damage.

The BBC on June 3, 2005 gave us more alarming news. “Toxic chemicals that poisoned your great-grandparents may also damage your health, US research suggests.
A team from Washington State University has produced evidence that some inherited diseases may be caused by poisons polluting the womb.” 

The extent of the damage or potential damage these chemicals can cause you and your family is still being revealed.  We do know that these chemicals damage the young and old but can also stay around for generations continuing to cause health problems.

Here is the good news.  There are alternatives. Below you will find a few. And check the site out for more healthy alternatives in our tip of the week section on the home page.

Garden Weeds:
A solution of 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water sprayed on the weeds will kill them. You may need to spray them several times to have them disappear.
Patio Weeds:
Cover the weeds with plastic or cardboard for a few days.  It will kill the leaves and left long enough the roots will also die.
Rose diseases:
Roses need sun and air movement to prevent fungus.
For Rust and Fungus:
pick the effected leaves off the bush and dispose of them immediately away from the plant.
For aphids and other garden pests:
Spray the affected plant with a solution of water and tobacco, a few strands of tobacco with a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle of water will do the trick.
Deprive them of food and water and they will leave you alone.

1. Chemicals Pesticides Health Effects Research http://www.chem-tox.com/pesticides/

2. Six Cautions about Pesticides and Herbicides 
More Environ. Health & Safety Solutions
Adapted from Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World,
by Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., Herbert L. Needleman, M.D., and Mary Landrigan, M.P.A. (Rodale Press, 2001).  

3. Our Stolen Future at http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/

4. Center for Children's Health and the Environment
Childenvironment.org Press Releases February 19, 2006


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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.