Last week, WebMD released an article highlighting the dangers of the conventional pesticide Chlorpyrifos to developing fetuses. Apparently, this substance causes what the article refers to as ‘structural changes’ to the external area of the brain. The result is decreased IQ and memory issues for children.
When a big scary word like “Chlorpyrifos” is in the news, we often look the other way before we even read the rest of the headline – even though we know that the government allows us to put substances on our food and pets that aren’t exactly always safe. Whether the motivation is financial, or that the benefits to the public outweigh the risks, doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that conventional pesticides like these are all over the stuff we use.
The EPA restricted Chlorpyrifos to agricultural use only, as the chemical was found to be ‘unfit’ for residential use. Wikipedia tells us that Chlorpyrifos is most commonly found on, “cotton, corn, almonds, and fruit trees including oranges and apples.”
Overseas in places like Taiwain, Chlorpyrifos is still used to bomb houses for flea and bed bug infestations. The EPA claims that trace amounts of Chlorpyrifos found in drinking water or on produce isn’t harmful, and that direct respiratory or topical exposure of the conventional pesticide will cause respiratory or neurological problems.
Regardless, there are a few steps you can follow to ensure that conventional pesticides in any form don’t affect you.
- Be careful on the golf course.
Though Chlorpyrifos is no longer legal for residential use, it may still be sprayed at places like golf courses where humans commonly hang out. If you spend some time on the course, make sure to wash your clothes and take a shower when you get home. Most folks do this anyway after a long day on the course, but the sooner you do it when you get home, the better.
You might also throw golf clothes into the hamper that rub up against other clothes. If you or your family members have a tendency to grab half-dirty clothes out of the hamper, make sure to separate your golf clothes from other clothes in your hamper.
- Use a water filter
It’s easy to forego the water filter when it’s empty, and you just want a quick drink – but don’t! Aside from trace amounts of Chlorpyrifos, there’s all kinds of other stuff in the water that could be harmful, especially as it collects in your body over time.
- Wash products you buy
Whether it’s rinsing off the fruit with a fruit wash or soap and water, or laundering new clothing, make sure to rinse off anything new you buy before using it.
Organic produce and hand-made clothing aren’t a possibility for everyone due to cost and availability – but fruit you buy at a larger supermarket or discount store can be rinsed off to get rid of some of the irritants and pesticides in our food and clothing.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control is a great way to safely eliminate pests from your home and property without conventional pesticides. A little soap and water and biodefense can go a long way!