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HOW DO PESTICIDES AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?

Pesticides are chemical substances that are specially formulated to kill pests. These pests include rodents, fungi, insects, and sometimes it is used to kill weeds. Pests can affect a crop’s output so using pesticides to control them greatly increases the amount of food that can be reaped and profits that can be made.

However, spraying food-producing crops with sprays designed to kill pests will contaminate the food and inadvertently expose consumers to the chemicals.

PESTICIDES DO OFFER BENEFITS

Pesticides are very helpful outside agriculture. For example, reducing the mosquito population can reduce fatal illnesses. So, it is not to say that pesticides’ only purpose is to increase profits in the agriculture industry.

HOWEVER

The process of using pesticides may contribute to various health effects. It is the double-edged sword where on one hand its use seems justified but the possible side effects can be severe. As with most things the risks associated with it correlate to how much you are exposed to and for how long. Some of the health issues that can result from long-term exposure to pesticides are as follows:

  • The onset of Parkinson’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • ADHD – Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder
  • Endocrine disruptor in that it affects hormone imbalance causing many other health problems

WHERE ARE PESTICIDES FOUND?

Pesticides are found in varying quantities on the food belonging to the plant that was sprayed. Some factors affect how much pesticides were transferred and absorbed by a fruit or vegetable. The thickness of the skin, as well as the regularity of a plant sprayed, can contribute to how much pesticides are present on the food you consume. Some plants are also a lot more susceptible to bugs than others, so some plants do not need to be sprayed at all.

HOW TO RECOGNIZE PESTICIDES ON LABELS

The trick with this is that pesticides are not added to food purposely so it’s not an ingredient that needs to be listed on a label. You can start to reduce your pesticide intake by avoiding conventional produce on the EWG dirty dozen list. You should buy organic alternatives to those on the dirty dozen but it’s probably ok to buy conventional or organic produce on the EWG’s clean 15 list.

Finally

Pesticides on food are probably not going to change anytime soon. What can change, are consumers awareness of their exposure with the goal of limiting that exposure. Buying organic lowers your exposure to synthetic pesticides but sometimes it is not always possible to eat organic foods. Most manufacturers have a website, so when in doubt you can visit their site to find clues about their agricultural practices.

Why pesticides is bad on your food

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