Are All Pesticides Toxic? How Can I Protect Myself and My Family from Harm?
Since we’re a company that’s all about enhancing the health of all people, especially Southern Californians, we often receive questions about all kinds of hazardous materials issues. For example, lots of people ask about using pesticides on their lawns and gardens. Is this practice harmful? Are some pesticides more dangerous than others? How can I make sure my family and I stay safe and healthy while still killing off weeds?
Before we dive in too deeply, let’s define what a pesticide is: a substance used for destroying insects or other organisms harmful to cultivated plants or to animals. Pesticides are widely used to control rats, insects, and weeds. Pesticides also weeds, bacteria, viruses, and different types of fungus. Examples of pesticides are algicides (control algae in swimming pools and other bodies of water), antifouling agents (kill organisms that attach to the bottoms of boats), fungicides (kill fungi such as mildew, mold, and rust), herbicides (kill weeds), insecticides (kill insects), and rodenticides (control mice and other rodents). Common household pesticides are cockroach baits and traps, insect repellants, rat and mouse poison, flea and tick sprays and collars for pets, disinfectants, products that kill mold and mildew, weed killers, bug sprays, and some swimming pool chemicals.
Are Pesticides Dangerous?
There are at least 865 pesticides that have been approved for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because they have been found to not pose a significant risk to human health and the environment. But there are definitely some risks of pesticide use that are important to be aware of and protect your loved ones against. Some pesticides have been known to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system problems, endocrine disruption, hormonal imbalances, and irritation of the skin and eyes. Infants and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of pesticides because their organs are still developing and because of their lower body weights. Depending on which pesticide and how long the person has been exposed, the effects of contact with pesticides can vary widely. If you’re concerned that you have symptoms resulting from pesticide exposure, it’s important you contact your local poison control center and/or physician.
So Should I Worry?
Pesticides are used every single day all over the US for various purposes, so the EPA monitors their effects very closely. While you want to take proper safety precautions by wearing gloves and masks when using pesticides, it appears that there isn’t a pressing reason for concern. But if you’re at all wondering about hazardous materials in your home, it’s best to have it thoroughly evaluated by the experts at H2 Environmental Consulting Services. They’ll test every little nook and cranny for lead, mold, fungus, asbestos, and other harmful substances. Especially if you have small children, it’s important to have your home tested. Just give us a call at (800) 524-3578 to schedule an appointment—it’s as easy as that!