There are many warnings issued by the environmentalists about the dangers of pesticides. Pesticide is a chemical that helps control, repel or kill pests, including insects, birds, weeds and microbes.
It is used on all food crops, including fruits and vegetables such as apple, pear, peaches, grapes, cherries, strawberries, potatoes and spinach.
These fruits and vegetables contain residual pesticides, even after they are washed or peeled. These pesticides accumulate in the fat deposits in your body and can cause damage. A pregnant woman who eats fruits and vegetables that have been grown using pesticides can pass them on to her nursing child. This is the basis for the organic food movement.
Pesticides can cause adverse effects on your nervous and immune system. Though they can cause harmful effects to both adults and children, the latter are more likely to suffer several health defects. Exposure to chemical pesticides can contribute to lower body weight and less developed immune system.
U.S Environmental Protection Agency made a study to analyze the dangers of pesticides. Children aged between 3 and 11 were given conventional foods for the first three days and organic foods for the next five days. When the children took conventional foods, their urine sample contained 5 to 263 parts per billion concentration of melathion metabolite. As they shifted to organic foods, it was found that the urine sample contained zero concentration of melathion.
The study also showed that the children were ingesting the organophosphorus pesticides, which can damage nervous system and reproductive system. These pesticides can cause developmental and behavioral abnormalities in children.
Pesticides initiate several chemical sensitivities too. More than 16 million Americans are sensitive to pesticides. Pesticides also contribute towards many health risks such as leukemia, lung, brain and testicular cancer, liver and pancreatic damage, decreased sperm counts and spontaneous abortions.
In children, pesticides cause health problems such as brain cancer, asthma, allergies, pain in lower limbs, neurotoxicity and birth defects. They may also cause health defects like cancer, decreased fertility, alteration of immune function and abnormal thyroid function in animals and wildlife.
Pesticides pose dangers to the environment too. They not only target the organisms that cause damages to the food crops, but they also kill other beneficial organisms like earthworms, birds, insects and fish. This in turn can cause loss of biodiversity and death of wild life. They also contaminate air, soil and water.
Growing your own food organically in your garden is the best way of protecting your family from the dangers of pesticides. You can adopt organic pest control methods to keep yourself and your family members away from the adverse effects of pesticides.
You can spray salt water solution on plants to kill cabbage worms and spider mites. You can also use garlic spray to control pests.
Organic gardening not only helps control pests, but they also supply crops rich in nutrients and vitamins. Consuming organic foods can reduce the risk of several diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, certain types of cancers and heart diseases.