A CALL FOR ACTION
TO PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, NEIGHBORS, ENVIRONMENTALISTS
PROTECT OUR CHILDREN AND OUR WATER TABLE!
”PESTICIDE-FREE PLAYING FIELDS”
OF TOXICS INFORMATION PROJECT (TIP)
**The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not consider any pesticide perfectly “safe”. Sadly, the public is misled on pesticide safety by pesticide applicator statements that characterize pesticides as “safe” or “harmless”, according to U.S. General Accounting Office reports to Congress. Of the 36 most commonly used lawn pesticides: 14 are probable or possible carcinogens, 15 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 24 with neurotoxicity, 22 with liver or kidney damage, and 34 are sensitizers and/or irritants. Alarmingly, a 2004 CDC (Center for Disease Control) report found that 100 percent of people who had both their blood and urine tested showed pesticide residues. Two insecticides -- chlorpyrifos and methyl parathion -- were found at levels up to 4.5 times greater than what the U.S. government deems acceptable.
**The EPA, National Academy of Sciences, and American Public Health Association, among others, have voiced concerns about the special danger that pesticides pose to children. Children take in more pesticides relative to body weight than adults and have developing organ systems that are more vulnerable and less able to detoxify toxic chemicals. Scientific literature shows that pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child's neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine system, even at low levels. Several pesticides, such as pyrethrins and pyrethroids, organophosphates and carbamates, are also known to cause or exacerbate asthma symptoms. In India, a study released by Greenpeace at the end of April titled “Arrested Development” determined that exposure to even small doses of pesticides impairs children's analytical abilities, motor skills and memory. Yet herbicides are easily tracked indoors on shoes, contaminating the air and surfaces inside homes and schools. There, they accumulate, breaking down slowly with lack of sunlight, and may expose children at levels ten times higher than pre-application levels.
**A study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute indicates that household and garden pesticide use can increase risk of childhood leukemia as much as seven-fold "There is growing evidence of links between pesticide exposures and the risk of human cancers, including acute childhood leukemia with home pesticide use and non-Hodgins lymphoma with exposures to herbicides," says D. Barry Boyd, M.D., an oncologist at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut and board member of EHHI (Environment and Human Health, Inc.) "Of increasing concern is the potential role of pesticide exposure in low doses, as well as in combinations, to exert endocrine disrupting effects causing endocrine-related cancers”.
**The link between common household pesticides and fetal defects, neurological damage and the most deadly cancers is strong enough that family doctors in Ontario, Canada, are urging citizens to avoid the chemicals in any form. The frightening message came in April, 2004, when the Ontario College of Family Physicians released the most comprehensive study ever done in Canada on the chronic effects of pesticide exposure at home, in the garden and at work. “The review found consistent evidence of the health risks to patients with exposure to pesticides”, the study said, naming brain, prostate, kidney and pancreatic cancer as well as leukemia among many other acute illnesses.
WHAT CAN BE DONE INSTEAD OF PESTICIDES?
Schools in 19 states and 27 school districts have responded to the mounting evidence that pesticides pose a public health hazard by making a commitment to non-toxic options. Their implementation of safer pest management practices is documented in Safer Schools: Achieving a Healthy Learning Environment Through Integrated Pest Management, a report by the School Pesticide Reform Coalition and Beyond Pesticides. Written by a broad group of individuals representing advocacy groups, state agencies, pest control companies, and school staff, the report encourages schools, states and the federal government to initiate IPM programs by: (1) explaining what an IPM program is and why it is necessary; (2) highlighting the 27 school districts and individual school IPM policies and programs; and, (3) outlining the basic steps to getting a school IPM program adopted. The report also includes a list of organizations, pest management companies, and government and school contacts that can provide further information on adopting a school IPM policy and its implementation; a list of states and schools that have an IPM/pesticide policy; and a pest prevention strategies checklist.
CONTACT TIP DIRECTOR LIBERTY GOODWIN, 401-351-9193, email@example.com FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR HEALTHY PLAYING FIELD & LAWN MANAGEMENT.
HELP US – AND HELP YOUR HEALTH & PLANET AS WELL – JOIN US!
Support TIP’s important research and education efforts on toxics in everyday products and healthier alternatives! As a TIP member, you’ll be part of a vital movement to create and sustain an earthly life support system friendly to people and other living beings. All members will receive our quarterly newsletter, “TIP TALKS”, with news of TIP activities, info on research into toxic products and health effects, TIPs on healthier alternatives. Please choose what you can afford to give from the suggested membership categories, fill out the form and send with your check to: Toxics Information Project (TIP). P.O. Box 40441, Providence, RI 02940.
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