Integrated Pests Management: A Safe Alternative to Hazardous Pesticides
The well being of our everyday day lives are affected by the agriculture industry. For many years now we have been using pesticides to control the pest population in our crops. Over the years research has shown that pesticides can cause fatal diseases like cancer. Pests are also becoming resistant to pesticides. It is time that we find a new way to rid of pests. A program called the Integrated Pests Management is doing so and many growers have begun to use their tactics.
Pesticides have been known to cause a number of diseases in humans as well as animals. The most vulnerable to these diseases and side effects are infants. Pesticides effect infants the most because the structures of their body systems are not fully developed. Parents don’t use adult doses of drugs to their children. In contrast, the EPA allows infants and children to eat adult approved doses of pesticides that have not been evaluated in terms of safety for infants and young children. Infants and children react differently to many drugs and toxic substances. An example of this is Aspirin. Aspirin can cause Reyes syndrome (a condition that kills 80 percent of its victims) in children and teenagers, but it does not cause this condition in adults (Cook, 2).
Children are at the greatest risk to pesticides. The national Cancer Institute USA found an increase risk of leukemia in children whose parents used pesticides in the home garden. Children are commonly exposed to hundreds of pesticides in food, meanwhile, the incidence rate of childhood brain cancer and childhood leukemia continues to rise (Ries, 93). “The reason that children are at risk the most is because every day millions of kids receive unsafe exposures at the age when they are the most vulnerable to long-term and short-term brain and nervous system damage,” said Richard Wiles, the EWG vice president for research.
The EPA does not just allow the use of any pesticide. In fact, they evaluate the safety of most pesticides using protocols that require testing only sexually mature animals. It is great that the EPA is performing tests on the risks of pesticides, but these tests provide little information that is relevant to infant or fetal exposure to pesticides. Also, the EPA only tests one chemical at a time, when in reality infants are exposed to a number of chemicals from pesticides when they are just eating baby food.
The chemicals in pesticides have been known to cause diseases in many living organisms, but what are some of the most common? Among many risks of the use of pesticides there is cancer. The National Academy of Sciences Committee on Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children concluded that, “direct carcinogens are more potent in rapidly growing animals. Infants and children are subject to rapid tissue growth and development, which will have an impact on cancer risk” (Cook, 2). The incidence...