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.