Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pesticides in Food, Clothing, and Bedding: Why Children May be Especially Sensitive to Pesticides

In this blog, you'll find previous posts that discuss the dangers of pesticides and other toxins in our both our food and textile crops (those used for clothing and bedding, and other fabric uses such as furniture fabrics, draperies, curtains). These dangers are often reported by independent organizations long before the U.S. government takes action against them. This is most likely due to the huge financial influence over the government by corporations and their lobbying organizations.

However, even the government's own agencies and independent reports are coming out with notices about these dangers and recommendations to eliminate them, even though the recommendations are slow and far from enough.

It is imperative that we move to organic and sustainable agricultural systems. We can't do this soon enough.

The following is shown on the EPA's web site as of November 4, 2010 however it wasn't dated as to when it was posted. Although it specifically discusses pesticides in relation to food, we believe it equally applies to the toxin residues through fabrics in clothing and bedding. (A fuller discussion on this latter point is left for other posts.)

"Infants and children may be especially sensitive to health risks posed by pesticides for several reasons:
  • Their internal organs are still developing and maturing,
  • In relation to their body weight, infants and children eat and drink more than adults, possibly increasing their exposure to pesticides in food and water,
  • Certain behaviors - such as playing on floors or lawns or putting objects in their mouths - increase a child's exposure to pesticides used in homes and yards.
Effects of pesticides include:
  • Pesticides may harm a developing child by blocking the absorption of important food nutrients necessary for normal healthy growth.
  • Pesticides may cause harm if a child's excretory system is not fully developed and therefore the body may not fully remove pesticides.
  • There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates.
For these reasons, and as specifically required under the Food Quality Protection Act (1996), EPA carefully evaluates children's exposure to pesticide residues in and on foods they most commonly eat, i.e., apples and apple juice, orange juice, potatoes, tomatoes, soybean oil, sugar, eggs, pork, chicken and beef. EPA is also evaluating new and existing pesticides to ensure that they can be used with a reasonable certainty of no harm to adults as well as infants and children."

Source for above statements: EPA web site

In regard to the last statement about the EPA evaluations, we need to adopt the Precautionary Principle of testing and making sure no harm can be caused before toxins are introduced into our environment and bodies. There have been numerous cases of allowing pesticides for many years, and decades, before deciding they are harmful to us.

Since World War II, the U.S. and the world has been, unwittingly, involved in what is probably the largest human experiment in the history of humans in our large scale exposures to pesticides. [Note: The term "pesticides" includes insecticides (toxins against insects), herbicides (toxins against other plants considered weeds), and fungicides (toxins against fungus and mold).]

by Ed Mass
President and Founder of Yes It's Organic and Green Logo World

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