Are the pesticides in your garden and on your lawn and on your food damaging your health?

According to the Beyond Pesticides nonprofit organization, at least eleven diseases are linked to pesticides in our bodies.

260 pesticides are linked to cancer; 65 are linked to Parkinson’s; 41 are linked to asthma; 26 are linked to learning and developmental disorders, etc. Disturbing statistics!

Most of the post World War II pesticides were (and many still are) related to DDT – that persistent insecticide that was sprayed everywhere, but ultimately banned in the western countries. Because DDT and other chlorinated pesticides linger a long time in the environment (and in our bodies), new faster-degrading pesticides were developed. Unfortunately, these organophosphate and carbamate type pesticides – related to warfare nerve gases – are quite deadly. About 90 million pounds per year are used in the U.S. Most people have evidence of these potent pesticides in their urine. (While circulating in the blood they are broken down by the liver prior to excretion in the urine.)

Okay, you wash your vegetables and salad greens to remove common pesticides. Good, but are you now safe from these toxic chemicals? No, because they inhabit other places. For example, they are found in cooking oils, especially cotton and soybean oils, because cotton and soybeans are two of the most heavily sprayed crops. So you are careful in your purchase of cooking oils. Are you now safe from agricultural pesticides? Again, No, because these two oils are used in virtually all packaged foods, such as cereals, crackers, cookies, bread, cakes, donuts, etc. It is a distressing picture!

What can a person do to avoid having their body contaminated by pesticides? One, buy organic fruit and vegetables. Two, when you can’t buy organic, rigorously wash or peel the fruit and vegetables. Three, minimize use of pesticides in your garden and on your lawn, and check the ingredients to avoid the most toxic. Four, do not buy packaged food that contain cotton seed oil or soybean oil, unless they are organic.

In the next blog we will explore the heavy topic of cancer – the dreaded disease.

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About donlouis

The author has long had a keen interest in staying healthy and fit, and in doing whatever I can to keep the natural environment unpolluted and a healthy space for people and all animals. As a former Board Member of a municipal water district, I regularly had to deal with the issue of water quality. I first became aware of radiation hazards from toxic materials while working on uranium for nuclear reactors. During the 1960s I was tuned into the global hazard from Strontium 90 raining down from atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs. While working in the chemical industry in later years I became aware of the many forms of chemical contaminants entering the environment every day, and resolved to do something about it. I am able to make sense out of the voluminous descriptions of common toxic chemical because of my training in chemistry, with a Ph.D. degree and several decades of research and development work in the chemical industry. My training and experience enables me to present to readers reliable and current information on the topic of chemical hazards in the environment, and their threats to human health. All my life I have loved hiking and camping in nature. Skiing, river kayaking, and tennis have been my favorite physical activities. Nature photography is my artistic passion.
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