A multitude of studies by very reputable organizations over the past few years have presented very disturbing evidence that many pesticides do, in fact, have a very negative impact on our health and the health of our children. The studies I mention were not done by organizations vested in the “organic” industry. This is research out of Harvard, Berkeley, the Mayo Clinic, Yale- to name a few. I have listed a few studies at the end of this post with links to the articles; check them out when you have the time.
At the bottom of this entry you can check out the links to articles and studies that will offer you very thought provoking information regarding the impact of pesticides in our food. Powerful studies done by powerful people.
A study done at the University of California, Berkeley, regarding the most widely used pesticide in the world, atrazine, hit the press not too long ago. The study concluded that three-quarters of the male frogs exposed to atrazine were emasculated and that 1 in ten actually turned into females. The emasculated male frogs have very low testosterone levels and so fertility is as low as 10 percent when they are in a controlled environment, isolated and paired with females. When they are in the wild and competing for a female’s attention, they have zero chance of reproducing; somehow the ladies just know that something is not quite right and hop right past them towards the real deal. Meanwhile the new “females” are fully capable of reproducing but because they are genetically male, all of their offspring are male as well. Approximately 80 million pounds of atrazine is applied annually in the United States to control weeds and increase crop yield and so it is entirely possible that this herbicide could be partly responsible for the documented amphibian decline around the globe.
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine presented very disturbing data gathered from a study conducted regarding exposure to three common chemicals and the impact on female development. The three common chemicals classes- phenols, phthalates and phytoestrogens – are present in a wide range of consumer products such as nail polishes, cosmetics, perfumes, lotions, shampoos, plastics, and in the coatings on medications or nutritional supplements that make them time released.
The study found that exposure to these chemicals may disrupt the timing of pubertal development in young girls. “Research has shown that early pubertal development in girls can have adverse social and medical effects, including cancer and diabetes later in life,” said Dr. Mary Wolff, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, quoted in Science Daily. In addition, one peer reviewed study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives researchers measured the levels of certain phthalates in the urine of pregnant women and among the women with higher levels of these chemicals, their children, years later, were more likely to display disruptive behavior.
This is like a bad science fiction movie, only it’s real and that should concern all of us. I could fill pages with stories similar to this one, but I think you get the point. Okay, so we’re not frogs, how do we know if this or other chemicals are affecting us negatively when so many people are telling us not to worry? We don’t, but my response is why take a chance when we have choices. It can’t be good for you to eat food sprayed with insecticides and other toxic chemicals, so why willingly consume them?
Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, currently battling cancer himself, is drafting legislation that would greatly strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act. According to Senator Lautenberg, under the existing law, of the 80,000 chemicals registered in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has required safety testing of only 200. He feels that unfortunately “Our children have become the test subjects.”
What more do we need to make the decision to eliminate chemicals from our lives in every way that we possibly can? Buying organic products and becoming more aware of the impact of chemical exposure in our daily lives is a necessary step if we are going to ensure healthy future for ourselves and for our children. When you see the 100% organic label it simply means that it can only contain organic ingredients, meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation, or synthetic pesticides and fertilizers have been used to grow, store, ship or package the product. In addition, minimizing exposure to chemicals in our daily life must be addressed as well, such as knowing which plastic containers are safe purchases, and which are not. Becoming more in tune with what is creating health and wellness in your life versus what is causing illness and dysfunction should be driven by the desire to redirect and redefine your goals. This can only be accomplished if persistence and a quest for knowledge and change are guiding you.
A quote from Senator Frank Lautenberg:
“…With EPA unable to require adequate testing, our children have become test subjects. And we are seeing the results in a dramatic increase in childhood cancers, birth defects and hormonal problems across the population.
Studies have found that as much as five percent of cancers, ten percent of neurobehavioral disorders and 30 percent of asthma cases in children are associated with hazardous chemicals.
Our children should not be used as guinea pigs. So it’s time to update the law and protect them.
Links To Studies:
Public Exposures to Toxic Chemicals
Senator Frank Lautenberg
On Thursday, February 4, 2010, Senator Lautenberg delivered the following opening statement at a morning hearing of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee he chairs to examine the current science on public exposure to toxic chemicals.
Study: ADHD linked to pesticide exposure
Researchers measured the levels of pesticide byproducts in the urine of 1,139 children from across the United States. Children with above-average levels of one common byproduct had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics.
Pesticide Exposure May Contribute to ADHD, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (May 17, 2010) — A team of scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University has discovered that exposure to organophosphate pesticides may be associated with increased risk of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
Pesticides May Raise Kid’s Risk of ADHD
Study Shows Food Is Likely Source of Pesticide Exposure Linked to ADHD. Relatively low-level exposure to common pesticides — probably from residues on foods — doubles kids’ risk of ADHD, Harvard researchers find.
Pesticide Exposure in Womb Affects I.Q.
The latest findings are based on three separate but similar studies financed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Two were conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Columbia University and studied urban families in New York; the third was done by researchers at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, and focused on children in Salinas, Calif., an agricultural area.
Prenatal Pesticide Exposure tied to Lower I.Q. in Children
In a new study suggesting pesticides may be associated with the health and development of children, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health have found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides – widely used on food crops – is related to lower intelligence scores at age 7.
Exposure to Three Classes of Common Chemicals May Affect Female Development, Study Finds
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that exposure to three common chemical classes — phenols, phthalates and phytoestrogens — in young girls may disrupt the timing of pubertal development, and put girls at risk for health complications later in life.
Underactive Thyroid Linked to Pesticide Exposure
Exposure to certain types of pesticides could up the risk of thyroid disease in women, according to a new study of thousands of women married to licensed pesticide applicators.Problems with the thyroid gland are more common among women than men, Dr. Whitney S. Goldner of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and colleagues note in their report
Study concludes that pesticide use increases risk of Parkinson’s in men
ROCHESTER, Minn.–Mayo Clinic researchers have found that using pesticides for farming or other purposes increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease for men. Pesticide exposure did not increase the risk of Parkinson’s in women, and no other household or industrial chemicals were significantly linked to the disease in either men or women.
Children, Cancer, and the Environment-Do pesticides cause cancer in children?