After a long, hard winter, gardening season is finally upon us. Naturally, we want to have the prettiest lawn and the most productive flower and vegetable gardens possible. And many of us rely on chemicals to achieve that. But did you know that the chemicals we use on our lawns and gardens are infiltrating our lungs, the food we eat and water we drink, and are even being absorbed through our skin?
The pesticides drift from our yards into the air in our homes, land on our tables, chairs, couches, beds and so on. Tests conducted on the levels of pesticides in our home have shown a 10-fold increase before and after outdoor application.
How many people are affected by these chemicals? A study conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did blood and urine testing for 23 pesticides on 9,282 people across the country. They found pesticides in 100% of those who did both the blood and urine testing. The average person carried 13 of 23 pesticides tested.
How Dangerous is the Presence of Pesticides in Our Body?
According to a June, 2013 beyondpesticides.com report – which consists of information gathered from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), The Pesticide Management Education Program at Cornell University, European Union Commission on the Environment, and several other noteworthy sources – 30 of the most commonly used pesticides are associated with various types of human toxicity.
- 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity
- 13 are linked with birth defects
- 21 with reproductive effects
- 26 with liver or kidney damage
- 15 with neurotoxicity
- 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system.
This might well be the answer to why the population of the U.S. is so ill compared to other countries.
And, of course, it’s even harder on children – whose immune systems are undeveloped and who tend to spend a lot more time on the grass, floors, chewing on their contaminated fingers and toys than we do.
Our homes, and the homes of our neighbors, are not the only places these pesticides wind up. Of those 30 pesticides in the beyondpesticides report, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds.
What Are Your Alternatives to Toxic Pesticides?
Eartheasy recommends compost, corn gluten, and offers a host of other natural lawn care tips. Check them out and see which ones work for you.
And enjoy your garden!