Startling Reason To Stop Using Pesticides Around Your Children
By Kirsten Cowart
New studies reveal a growing trend among the homes of children who have been diagnosed with lymphoma or leukemia…
The use of insecticides.
Since the 1990s, 16 studies were analyzed in order to see if there was a trend or theme among children who became sick with these serious illnesses. It was found that these children were exposed to indoor insecticides.
Another – though weaker – trend also pointed to the use of weed killer as being another factor in the risk of children developing leukemia.
The findings do not prove that chemical pesticides directly contribute to the cancers, but this trend, even if slight, needs to be considered for the health and safety of your children.
What Are The Experts Saying About This Startling Trend?
“We don’t know ‘how much’ exposure it takes, or if there’s a critical window in development,” said the senior researcher and associate professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at Harvard School of Public Health, Chensheng (Alex) Lu.
“Is the window during pregnancy? Or even before pregnancy?” Lu continued. “That will take a much deeper investigation.”
Regardless of the various questions and doubts, Lu said that he believes these trends shouldn’t be ignored and that it is wise to act now. We all need to take steps in order to limit babies’ and children’s contact with chemical pesticides, especially those that are used inside.
Fortunately, in the United States, childhood cancer is rare, coming in at just under 10,400 children under the age of 15 who will be diagnosed this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
The most common cancers diagnosed in children are lymphoma and leukemia. Unlike adult cancers that often come because of decades of environmental exposure and lifestyle choices, child cancers appear to “just happen,” said pediatric oncologist, Dr. Ziad Khatib, from Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, Miami.
“We think most cancers in children are due to chance,” said Khatib, who was not part of the recent study. However, he did add that the data does show a correlation between the use of pesticides and these childhood cancers.
“We should always be cautious about exposing young children to any toxic chemicals,” he said. “It just makes sense.”
Increased Risk For Children – Let’s Look At The Numbers
Lu’s team analyzed the results from 16 studies from all over the world that took place between 1993 and 2013. These studies compared healthy kids to children with cancer and looked at the trends of pesticide exposure.
Children who were exposed to any indoor insecticide were 43-47% more likely to have lymphoma or leukemia.
Another statistic showed that kids who were exposed to weed killers had a 26% higher risk of developing Leukemia.
Although those figures may sound alarming, because very few children are diagnosed with these issues, it only slightly changes the overall statistic. “That would mean that, instead of 1 in 10,000 kids developing leukemia, you’d have about 1.5 in 10,000… It’s a very small risk,” Khatib added.
“I think it’s important to get this information out to parents and let them use their own best judgment,” Lu also said.
What Should Be Done To Reduce These Risks?
Lu says that you can find alternative non-chemical products to deal with bugs, deny the bugs any food sources or use traps and bait.
Children could just as easily be exposed to these chemicals at a friends house, at school, in playgrounds or in parks, so there will always be a risk. The best thing to do is to make sure that the areas that are in your control are safe and then make sure your children have the nutrition they need to have strong immune systems.
What do you do to keep your children safe from harmful chemicals? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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