The Health Implications Of Pesticide Exposure According To Scientists

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This article aims to raise awareness of the concerns surrounding the use of pesticides. It is not intended to scaremonger, rather to educate so that people maybe think twice before continually spraying harmless bugs.

wpa199a0c9_05_06Pesticides are commonly used in many homes, they are sprayed on non-organic foods, public parks, office gardens and more. This is mostly due to the belief that we need to control insects. We are led to believe that insects are dangerous and harbour disease. This is not accurate, in fact the pesticides are far more harmful to our health than the huge majority of insects. Only a very small number of household insects can cause harm, and preventative measures can be taken to protect us from this.

There are many alternative methods of controlling bugs without chemicals and these will be explored in detail in future posts. For now I want to share some evidence that suggests the ways that even light exposure to pesticides could be harmful to our health, particularly the health of children.

Pesticide Exposure and Cancer/Tumours

Let’s start with a quote from the abstract of a study published in 2006 by the New York Academy of Sciences.

Exposure to pesticides is recognized as an important environmental risk factor associated with development of cancer. Epidemiological studies, although sometimes contradictory, have linked phenoxy acid herbicides with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and Soft Tissue Sarcoma (STS); organochlorine insecticides with STS, NHL, and leukemia; and triazine herbicides with ovarian cancer.

One pesticide of particular concerns is heptachlor epoxide, which has been linked to a number of health issues, including breast cancer, liver failure and kidney disease as well as infertility. It was officially banned for commercial use in 1988 but is still being used to control termites. It has been found to stay in crops grown in soil sprayed with heptachlor epoxide 15 years prior.

Many reports have also connected parent’s occupation or home use of pesticides to childhood leukaemia.

Older people are also vulnerable to risk from exposure – “use of chlorinated pesticides among applicators over 50 years of age and methyl bromide use were significantly associated with prostate cancer risk.”

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