Children and Pesticides – DANGER!


The Pesticide Action Network has sounded a loud warning to all parents: Pesticides are undermining children’s health and intelligence.

Generation in Jeopardy, paints a stark message: Children’s health and intelligence are threatened by 1 billion pounds of toxic pesticides used in the U.S. each year. That is three pound for every person in the country!

About 500,000 children born each year are affected by a developmental disability (e.g., ADHD and lowered IQ); this is a 17% rise in past 15 years. More than 100,000 children are now diagnosed with cancer each year; leukemia and brain tumors have risen 40% since 1975. Studies link exposure to pesticides during pregnancy to increased risk of childhood leukemia and brain cancer. More than 7 million children are affected by asthma, a 40% increase since 1980. Asthma is the leading cause of absences from school.

Here are other well documented figures on rises in children’s diseases and disabilities during the last few decades.

  • 53% increase in diabetes
  • 78% increase in autism
  • 25% increase  in cancers
  • 17% increase in developmental disabilities
  • 171% increase in obesity.

The active ingredients in the eleven major home and garden pesticides include 2 known carcinogens, 6 suspected carcinogens, 5 developmental or reproductive toxicants, and 7 suspected endocrine disruptors. The active ingredients in the twenty four major agricultural pesticides include 8 known carcinogens, 8 suspected carcinogens, 6 developmental or reproductive toxicants, and 15 suspected endocrine disruptors. A gruesome and disturbing picture!

You may be inclined to disregard the list of multiple toxic chemicals used in agriculture because you are not a farm worker; however, you may live downwind from big fields of sprayed crops. Furthermore, everyone who eats non organic fruit and vegetables is getting a dose of these toxic pesticides. Escape is difficult but not impossible. Tips on minimizing your exposures to pesticides have frequently been posted on this blog site

The report, A Generation in Jeopardy, can be downloaded from www.panna.org.

PS. The author will be on vacation until early November.

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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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