A look at "cides"

You’ve heard about pesticides, herbicides and insecticides but what are these chemicals and can they affect your family’s health? Here are some quick facts…

  • For the most part this group of chemicals is made from petroleum. While humans have called earth home for over 200,000 years, these “new” chemicals have only been in our environment for about the past 40 years.
  • Any chemical that ends in the word “cide”, as in pestiCIDE, herbiCIDE, insectiCIDE, and fungiCIDE, are chemicals that are specifically designed to kill things and are intentionally designed to be toxic. (Herbicides are designed to kill weeds. Pesticides and insecticides are designed to kill insects, mites and other bugs. Fungicides are designed to kill fungus.)
  • There are over 21,000 different pesticides in use with over 900 different active ingredients!
  • In the USA over 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year.
  • A recent study by the US Geological Survey tested 10,000 streams across the country for pesticides. They found at least one pesticide in every stream they tested! Shockingly, in 20% of the streams (2,000 streams) they found TEN OR MORE pesticides! This study shows how widespread these chemicals have become.
  • Most of these chemicals are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, which means that cities do not have to test for them or remove them in order for a city to call the drinking water “safe” to drink.
  • According to the Physicians for Social Responsibility, nearly 75% of high volume chemicals have undergone little or no toxicity testing.
  • Many pesticides, herbicides and insecticides have been linked with serious neurological, developmental and behavioral problems in children. For the most part however, these chemicals have unknown health effects.
  • Many illnesses such as autism, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis have been shown to have strong connections to environmental toxins, including pesticides.
  • New research indicates that even exposures to very small amounts of these chemicals on the wrong day of a child’s development may cause permanent learning or behavioral damage.
  • While many people are starting to buy organic food in order to avoid these chemicals, most people overlook the most important factor; the water that their family consumes. Much of the pesticides, herbicides and insecticides used on crops wash away to streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers.

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