This is not a cute depiction of Dorothy with “lions, tigers, and bears, Oh My”. This is another side to “these chemicals are OK for the environment, people and wildlife”. The manufactures will add “independent scientific study proving the chemicals in this brew are safe for humans, animals, plants, and the environment”.
My assessment on pesticides, herbicides, insecticides & fertilizers is quite different.
I have allergic reactions to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers. I once worked in an office atmosphere where carpet was in parts of the office. Carpet is bad for my health as carpet tiny fibers cause breathing problems and coughing. Pesticide treatment was applied once per month with the exclusion of the room that I worked in due to past severe reactions. For two to three days after applications as workers walked across carpet and stirred residual particles into the air where all can breathe it, I became lethargic, experienced breathing difficulties and sometimes developed skin irritations including hives.
While I react fairly quickly to exposure, those who noticed subtle clues that they did not feel quite right did not realize that it was the exposure to pesticides causing their symptoms.
Long term exposure to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, cleaning agents and general indoor pollutants coupled with outdoor pollutants over the course of one’s lifetime does produce many of the diseases people battle every day. I guess I am lucky in the sense that I remove myself from the cause of my allergies. Most of the time I can find the root cause.
In 2011, I noticed urban lawn applications that made me sick while I was out on walks. I detected a distinct odor that gave me problems many years earlier from a farm area application. This happened in two cities. One city I worked in the other I lived in. I also noticed during 2011 that I had reactions to the same scented smell detected in home improvement and department stores garden sections. The fumes made me dizzy, caused asthma coughing, and caused my lips to be numb. In 2014, the garden center fumes still bothered me but the smell was not as strong and the symptoms were not as severe.
Thankfully indoor pesticides were banned where children are present. This ruling was long over due. What about all of the adults? Are they expendable? Unfortunately, those that work in manufacturing, construction, and many other occupations do not have the option to opt out of the toxic exposure. There are many schools and facilities that house multiple persons either through housing or work that are adjunct to farm fields, “the perfect lawn”, pools of standing water and or landscaped gardens. Long term exposure to a multitude of substances that leach into our air, water and soil are the underlying contributors to cancer, asthma, allergies and a host of other health problems.
Long term exposure also has lasting effects, maybe not immediately as I experience but accumulated over time. The fact that asthma, COPD in children and our elderly is increasing at an alarming rate can be directly attributed to known allergens, chemical irritants, by-product pollution, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers. There are many natural versions of pest control, weed control, fertilizing, cleaning agents, and alternative green means to protect our earth and its inhabitants. Chemically produced toxic pesticides and other toxic chemically produced products are not among those natural versions.
Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers may be encountered as residues in food, air and water. People may also be exposed to pesticides used in agriculture, applications for pest control at home or at work, applications to roadside right-of-ways to control weeds and applications of pesticides for public health vector control programs. Urban Mosquito spaying operations were designed to protect against mosquito carrying disease. The chemicals used are so toxic that the warnings come days in advance to alert residents not to allow exposure of children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems. Hmm, it can’t be good for the remaining people not listed, animals or the plants we consume either.
None of the previously mentioned takes into account the multitude of industrial accidents, vehicular accidents, the end-user accidents. For an example there is one accident listed in the next paragraph. These accidents happen several times a year in all corners of the world.
8/20/14 From The Mercury News “Lionville Fire Company” firefighters said the farm tractor pulling the 800-gallon tank full of pesticide turned on to its side and roughly 500 gallons of the pesticide spilled.” http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140820/hazmat-team-responds-to-chemical-spill-in-west-pikeland.
Environmentally friendly to Earth and living things is always a better alternative to use in place of harmful, toxic concoctions. There are many formulas of earth friendly ingredients for pests, weed control, fertilizers, fruit trees and bushes, edible garden plants, and lawn treatments. We need only to utilize the many search engines and find them.
Following are links to articles of interest regarding the ill effects of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers.