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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Risks of Home Pesticide Use

We all have heard about the damage the use of pesticides can do to the environment and living organisms. Some of us will try to steer as far away from any pesticide use as possible, while others may not consider the risk that great, with the trade off for lush lawns and gardens the desired result. If you are not quite sure where you stand on this issue, here are some interesting facts that may help you formulate a more educated decision.

Homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops.”4 — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Increased odds of childhood leukemia, brain cancer and soft tissue sarcoma have been associated with children living in households where pesticides are used.

96 percent of all fish analyzed in major rivers and streams contained residues of one or more pesticides at detectable levels. —United States Geological Survey

EHHI surveyed 18 stores in Connecticut and found that most stores displayed pesticide packages with visible tears or rips.

Some pesticides commonly used on lawns and gardens in Connecticut...have been banned or restricted in other countries because of concerns about health effects. Many Canadian municipalities have banned or severely restricted the use of lawn-care pesticides.

Several studies... have found a statistically higher incidence of non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma in people exposed to 2,4-D.

Data suggest that MCPP may cause cancer, birth defects, and mutagenic effects.

Some inert ingredients are suspected carcinogens; others have been linked to central nervous system disorders, liver and kidney damage, birth defects, and some short-term health effects. — Attorney General’s Office of New York

The use of household pesticides has been associated with a variety of childhood cancers.

Pesticides not intended for use on food are not required to undergo the same degree of testing as those used on food.

The use of pesticides often harms wildlife and their habitats.... Commonly used lawn-care chemicals can persist in soil and water for weeks, which can lead to the contamination of aquatic resources and local wildlife.

In addition to contaminating surface water, pesticides can contaminate groundwater, potentially causing health problems in those people drinking the water.

At least one pesticide was detected by USGS in more than 95 percent of stream samples collected at 115 sites.

Pregnant women, infants and children, the aged and the chronically ill are at greatest risk from pesticide exposure and chemically induced immune-suppression, which can increase susceptibility to cancer.

Scientific studies find pesticide residues such as the weedkiller 2,4-D and the insecticide carbaryl inside homes, due to drift and track-in, where they contaminate air, dust, surfaces and carpets and expose children at levels ten times higher than preapplication levels.

Lawn and garden pesticides are deadly to non-target species and can harm beneficial insects and soil microorganisms essential to a naturally healthy lawn

Children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that make them more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxins

Studies show low levels of exposure to actual lawn pesticide products are linked to increased rates of miscarriage, and suppression of the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.

Exposure to home and garden pesticides can increase a child’s likelihood of developing asthma.

Studies link pesticides with hyperactivity, developmental delays, behavioral disorders, and motor dysfunction.


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