Pesticides are a unique toxic threat for a couple of reasons. First, they are widely used. They are spread across mile after mile of farmland, and the amount of chemicals applied each year is simply staggering. These chemicals must go somewhere, and will eventually run off into water supplies or be absorbed into the food we eat.
Secondly, they are toxins intentionally designed to kill. The intent may be to kill bugs or weeds, but it’s hard to be successful at such selective annihilation. All life on this planet shares a similar biology descended from a common ancestor. A cell is a cell is a cell whether it’s a mosquito cell, a human cell, or a frog cell. Pesticides are designed to destroy biology, and a chemical designed to kill one thing is almost certain to have unintended toxic effects on another. Pesticides are some of the nastiest chemicals known to mankind. They are poisons in the truest sense of the word.
The chemicals in pesticides
Pesticides are typically composed of both inert and active ingredients. So called “inert” chemicals can comprise up to 99.9% of the solution in pesticides. They are called inert because they are not the active ingredient that kills the bugs or weeds being targeted. But this does not necessarily mean they are safe.
There are 4,000 or so different inert ingredients used by pesticide manufacturers, and unfortunately, companies are able to hide these ingredients behind intellectual property laws. Yet there is concern that these “inert” ingredients could interact with the active ones to create unexpected outcomes for human health. (Cox & Surgan, 2006)
As for the active ingredients, there is little doubt about toxicity. Most are some form of neurotoxin, meaning they interfere with the functioning of neurons throughout the brain and nervous system. Many are chemically related to the type of nerve gases used in chemical warfare, such as the Sarin nerve gas Saddam Hussein used to murder 5,000 Kurds in Iraq. Every pesticide that’s been studied extensively has been found to have adverse effects on human health.
Information on toxic pesticides
Select from the following free information below to learn more about pesticides, or get our Toxic Childhood e-book to dig deeper into this subject and learn more about keeping your child safe from toxic exposures. It’s just $7.99, and all proceed go towards helping children in need.
Additional information contained in our e-book:
- Reducing your family’s exposure to pesticides
- 2, 4-D (Weed B Gone)
- Glyphosphate (Roundup)
- Other pesticides