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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Problems With Pesticides


According to the recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute, exposure to pesticides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency has been linked to the following forms of cancer:

  • Brain and central nervous system cancers
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

Research studies have also linked pesticides to:
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Asthma
  • Birth Defects
  • Cancer 
  • Diabetes
  • Hormone-related problems
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Learning and developmental disorders

Still-developing babies and children are most susceptible to the adverse effects of toxic pesticides. A study published in the current issue of Pediatrics measured levels of pesticides in more than 1,100 children between the ages of 8 and 15. Researchers found pesticides in 94 percent of children and those with above average amounts had twice the risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Avoiding pesticides is best, but it's not always possible. When organic foods are unavailable or unaffordable, take some help from the Environmental Working Group and make informed choices about what to eat and what to avoid with their Shopper's Guide to Pesticides.

References:

Leffall LD, Kripke ML et al. Reducing environmental cancer risk: what we can do now. 2008–2009 Annual Report, President’s Cancer Panel. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. April 2010, p. 45.

Bouchard M.F., Bellinger D.C., Wright R.O., and Weisskopf M.G. 2010. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and urinary metabolites of organophosphate pesticides. Pediatrics 125(6):e1270-7. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3058.

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