Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Get off the Pesticide Treadmill!


Pesticides include any chemical spray designed to control "pests", including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. These chemicals are designed to harm and kill its target; however, they cannot distinguish between the pests and all other living organisms. Which means they harm everything in their path. Insecticides in particular are designed to attack the brain and nervous system of insects and have been found to have similar effect on humans. These chemicals are sprayed where people live, work, and play and exposure to them is inevitable. Studies show that pesticides are most dangerous when absorbed through the skin or inhaled into the lunges, as opposed to ingesting.

The way the EPA determines if a pesticide is hazardous to human health involves analyzing toxicity test results. Tests that are most often conducted on animals by the chemical manufacturer in independent laboratories. Which leaves potential for those companies to skew data or submit inaccurate data to register their products. Even if the EPA refuses to register a chemical product, the manufacturer can file a lawsuit, which is a drawn out process that keeps the product on the market in the meantime. 

Each year an estimated one billion pounds of pesticides are used on farms, forests, lawns, and gold courses. It is no surprise then that an increasing amount of plants and insects have developed resistances to these chemical sprays. In response to these resistances, companies produce stronger pesticides and farmers and lawn care workers spray more and more chemicals. That is more toxicity into the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land, grass and soil we walk on, let our kids play on and our pets roll in. 
The pesticide business is a vicious cycle that seems to have no end. The industry has you convinced that spraying endless chemicals into the environment is the road to beautiful lawns free of nature and her pests. But guess what, in the 1940s, farmers lost 7% of their crops to pests, since the 1980s farmers have lost 13% of their crops to pests. The percent of crops lost to pests has risen almost 100% even with the increased production and use of these toxic products. This pattern will not end until we all realize how detrimental and unnecessary pesticides are. Get off the pesticide treadmill!

Food for thought: It can take up to 50 months for tests on pesticides to be completed and the EPA states that pesticide safety advertising claims are a low priority. It seems clear that profit, not health, is the priority for manufacturers and the EPA is far too busy with too little power to safeguard against tricky and manipulating buzzwords like "nontoxic", "harmless", and "safe". Who watches out for yours and your family's safety and well-being? You. As a consumer, you have the responsibility to do your own research to become informed to what is really going on, it would a major mistake to believe everything advertising tells you. Do the research and decide for yourself what you believe is safe for you, your family, and the environment we live in. 

The Pesticide Action Network, is a great place to start. 

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