Our Kids and Pesticides
Most conventional agriculture is grown using pesticides, fertilizers, and weed killers. As studies have shown, several of these pesticides are probable human carcinogens. Some growers have adopted an integrated pest management approach, but many do not implement this for all agricultural practices. Integrated pest management, or IPM, is the practice of using less toxic methods to diminish pests, such as insects. To avoid consuming these harmful toxins, people can start by following an organic lifestyle. Organic produce is grown without petroleum based fertilizers and synthetic pesticides. They are an obvious safer alternative. Unfortunately, we are not only in danger from the amount of pesticides we consume, through eating conventional fruits and vegetables, we also come in contact with toxic pesticides on our lawn and at schools, parks, and playgrounds. Currently, only ten states in the United States require integrated pest management on state run land (schools, parks, highways, landscapes, etc.). Unfortunately for the other 40 states, most children are introduced to poison, almost daily. Some of the pesticides prevalent in playgrounds can cause birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and reproductive damage. Nineteen of the thirty most commonly used lawn pesticides have also been linked to cancer (Fassa, 2009, p. 7).
Fortunately for us here in Florida, several independent projects have been put together in support of integrated pest management. Even so, IPM is not required by law, so it is still not implemented in every school. Together, we can spread awareness of this practice. You can first begin by finding out information about your local school, and educating yourself about the benefits of integrated pest management. If your local school does not currently use IPM, you can raise the topic at PTA meetings, and begin talking to your school board. You can also research any information regarding local school pest management. Ultimately, we need spread awareness about these harmful pesticides that our children come in contact with. Research shows that children have twice as many levels of pesticides, in comparison to adults. We need to protect our precious beings, and begin by protecting our kids at home. Using safer less toxic pesticides on our lawns will help protect our children and pets. Unfortunately pesticides aren’t just found outside or in our food, they are also found in everyday products like bug repellents, hand sanitizers, bathroom and kitchen disinfectants, toothpastes, and mouthwashes. I will write more about these topics in my upcoming blogs. Until next time, stay green and keep following an organic lifestyle!
Eco Friendly Companies in South Florida (Safe Pest Control Services):
Fassa, Lynda. “Field of Green Dreams.” Green kids, sage families: the ultimate guide to
raising your organic kids. New York: New American Library, 2009. 5-31. Print.