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Exposure of Conventional Pesticides: Children's Health Issues

Parents should be concerned with the health of their children and it not only involves providing them with a healthy and well balanced diet, it also is important to consider the dangers of conventional pesticides found not only in their food and in their environment.

Conventional pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, and other pest control chemicals, can cause a variety of short-term (acute) and long-term (chronic) health effects. These negative health effects are more common in infants and children for numerous reasons. An infant or child’s internal organs are still developing and maturing. Their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems provide less protection against pesticides than those of an adult.

Due to infants and children increased susceptibility to conventional pesticides or herbicides, there should be increased levels of concern for health risks. Many acute symptoms of exposure include headaches,dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, and skin irritation. These symptoms are often misdiagnosed with common illness, such as the flu. Several long-term health effects are linked to exposure of conventional pesticides including Asthma. According to the American Lung Association, an estimated 7 million children live with Asthma in the United States. A survey assessing childhood asthma has concluded that any exposure of conventional pesticides or herbicides with the first year of a child’s life make the child’s risk of contracting asthma 2.5 times greater than a child living in a chemical free environment.

It is estimated that up to 10 percent of children in public schools are affected with some type of learning disability and it is speculated that there is a direct link to the health of their environment. Organophosphate pesticides, which account for nearly 70 percent of conventional pesticides used in the U.S., can have effects on a children’s developing brains and their overall development causing them to be diagnosed with diseases such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Although the risk from conventional pesticides depends on the exposure of pesticides and the individual child’s susceptibility, there are ways to protect your children from conventional pesticides. In addition to always running your fruits and vegetables under cold water before you eat them, rubbing them with a clean cloth to take off the top film caused by any potential contaminants and buying more organic foods whenever possible will help. You can also opt for safer home pest control options like Wondercide'sBiodefense all natural indoor pest control and Ecotreat Outdoor Pest Control natural outdoor pest contol to provide a safer environment for your child to play, live and learn.

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