Pesticides 101 + How to Reduce Exposure to Them!
Learning more about synthetic pesticide exposure can be an overwhelming pill to swallow.
But treating it as an opportunity to take better control of your and your family's health is a HUGE step in reducing exposure to some of the many toxins we're exposed to on the daily.
Doing what we can to take even the smallest of baby steps in the right direction is one of the simplest and easiest ways to help us get there!
What are Pesticides?
Pesticides are chemical compounds used to deter and kill "pests" such as insects, rodents, weeds, fungi and molds.
Most widely, synthetic pesticides are used in conventional agricultural practices in order to kill pests which may otherwise damage crops. However, pesticides are also commonly used in many industrial and household products such as the following.
Common Types of Pesticides
Herbicides: used to kill the spread of weeds in conventional agricultural practices, residential lawns, gardens, etc.
Disinfectants (anti-microbials): commonly used in hospital, school and household cleaners.
Fumigants: gas/vapor released into air or injected into soil for pest control.
Fungicides: used on plants or surfaces to kill or slow the growth of fungi or mold.
Insecticides: chemicals designed to kill insects used in conventional agricultural practices, businesses, households, etc.
Repellents/Rodenticides: chemicals designed to repel pest and kill rodents.
Pesticides in the Environment
The overuse of pesticides in the United States is contributing greatly to the chemical load of the environment (and human body). In fact, it's estimated only 5% of the synthetic pesticides used actually affect the targeted pests, while the remainder of these chemicals end up on plants, neighboring fields, in soil, and in our air and water.
Additionally, due to the widespread overuse of synthetic pesticides, these toxins are bioaccumulating in our environment and creating widespread contamination to other farms, forests, habitats, rivers, ponds, lakes, and seas.
Did you know over 90% of the wells sampled in a U.S. Geological Survey were polluted with pesticides?
Pesticides in the Human Body
Pesticides are generally used to help protect food supply, however, there's increasing concern regarding toxin accumulation in the body correlated with overuse and frequent exposure to synthetic pesticides.