Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Choosing a Pesticide Free School

Many schools have real pest problems. Wasps and ticks are a few examples. But there are alternative ways, natural ways, to get rid of pests. Considering the carcinogenic side effects of the common pesticide sprays why not choose natural pest management choosing? A school can rid themselves of disease carrying pests and not contribute to cancer. This is why I applaud states like Connecticut which has ban pesticide application in and near schools.

"Neuroblastoma Linked to Hormone treated with Pesticides", Epidemiology . Where Neuroblastomas account for 10% of childhood tumors and rates have been increasing over the last 50 years. This was a colaborative study between 6 universities and St. Judes Children's Research Hospital.

"Breast Cancer Linked to Hormone Pesticide Chlordane" This study was performed by Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Lubbock, TX and the US Army Institute of Surgical Research.

S.T.A.T.E Report with 38 citations This is a long report but a few of the quotes are as follows.

"Many components are classified as "inert", which allows them to be kept hidden from the public and not listed on product labels. These are more than just fillers or solvents. "Inert" does not mean "inactive" - some, such as benzene and xylene, are more toxic than listed chemicals.(1,2)"

"Fat soluble pesticides accumulate over time in our bodies, then are released at potentially toxic levels when illness or stress results in our fat reserves being metabolized. A large portion of a woman's lifetime exposure to such pesticides is released in the breast milk for her firstborn child.(37) "

"Some pesticides labeled "bio-degradable" degrade into compounds more dangerous than the original. Examples include Mancozeb, which degrades into a substance that is an EPA-classified probable carcinogen.(6) The pesticide industry also implies that "organic" means safe and natural (for example, "Nature's Lawn"), knowing that the term legally may be applied to any compound containing carbon and hydrogen. ChemLawn and other lawn "care" companies and manufacturers have often been sued for fictitious claims.(5-14)"

"Now it is even being found that chlorpyrifos causes multiple sclerosis.(38)"

"The United States General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has also tried to alert the public to lawn chemical dangers. GAO's undercover team noted many fictitious claims by many in the lawn "care" industry.(35) Many included illegal claims of product safety. Others were just deceiving, such as the ChemLawn claim that a child would have to ingest ten cups of treated grass clippings to equal the toxicity of one baby aspirin. In fact, the real danger is not that people will be grazing the lawn but that most poisonings come from inhaling pesticide residues or absorbing them through the skin.(6,7,10)"

Parents should also note that many schools may not use a commercial supplier. Often the maintenance personnel does the deed. Though, pesticides applied with or without training can lead to the maintenance person also getting exposure to carcinogens along with the students. That does not seem like a good way to keep insurance costs down.

The responsibility for taking care of the student, that develops the cancer, will fall on the parents. When you think about all the pain and suffering the child will go through, not to mention the cost to the parents, why not use an effective alternative?

Student safety should be at the top of the list of requierments when it comes to choosing a school.

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