Spring Pesticide Increase

Ahh Spring! Don’t ya just love it. The flowers, the trees, it all smells so good. Along with the wonderful parts of Spring comes the allergies, mud, rain and pesticides. Yes, pesticides. Testing shows the amount of pesticides in ground water increases in peak planting season. We live in an area surrounded by far land. I often joke that we live in the middle of corn field.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our little corner of Indiana. Its my all time favorite place to be. I do get concerned in the Spring when the farmers start planting and treating the fields. It is kinda stinky when the pig poop trucks go by for a solid week, but the smell goes away quickly.

The biggest concern for me is the pesticide that is sprayed on the field. This seems to happen throughout the farming season. I see farm machinery spraying, dusting, and planting. Later in the Summer, the crop dusters fly over several farm plots all around our home. It is kind of cool to see the crop dusting pilot swoop around dropping  his poison on the fields. I have no idea what is dusting all over, I just assume it is pesticide poison.

I did a little research, and found out that these pesticides, no matter if they are sprayed on or dusted, are poison. In fact pesticides are linked to many illnesses and even some birth defects.

Environmental Health News reports findings that pesticides increase the risk of skin cancer to those who are regularly exposed.

The researchers identified six pesticides that, with repeated exposure, doubled the risk of skin cancer among farmers and other workers who applied them to crops.

The findings add to evidence suggesting that frequent use of pesticides could raise the risk of melanoma. Rates of the disease have tripled in the United States in the last 30 years, with sun exposure identified as the major cause.

Four of the chemicals – maneb, mancozeb, methyl-parathion and carbaryl – are used in the United States on a variety of crops, including nuts, vegetables and fruits. Two others, benomyl and ethyl-parathion, were voluntarily cancelled by their manufacturers in 2008.

“Most previous melanoma literature has focused on host factors and sun exposure. Our research shows an association between several pesticides and melanoma, providing support for the hypothesis that agricultural chemicals may be another important source of melanoma risk,” according to the report by epidemiologists from University of Iowa, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Cancer Institute.

The findings also may have implications for consumers who use pesticides in their homes or yards. Carbaryl, one of the pesticides linked to skin cancer, is the active ingredient in the insecticide Sevin, which is widely used by consumers to kill pests in gardens and lawns.

The study, published last month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined cancer rates in 56,285 pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina as part of the federal government’s Agricultural Health Study, a large, long-term study of pesticide applicators and their spouses.

Be sure to read the complete details here.

The National Resource Defense Council has a lot of important information that anyone living in farm country should read. This is a full report on all the hazards of using and coexisting with pesticides. I tell you what, you will think about your air, water and surroundings in a different way.

If you are concerned about your water becoming contaminated with pesticides, then purchasing a quality home water filter will insure your home tap water is completely safe for you and your family to drink.

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