Should I be concerned about pesticides in my flower arrangements?Yes. Pesticide residues are often found on produce, and if flowers are an important part of your life, then you should worry.Pesticides help make flowers more affordable by saving them from early damage. But research shows that pesticides contribute to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, lung disease, reproductive problems, and possibly disorders of the endocrine and immune systems.Animal testing also indicates that pesticides can cause permanent changes in brain chemistry that may lead to behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, and even long-term damage of the brain and nervous system.
Are children more vulnerable to the dangers of pesticides than adults are? Yes, Pesticide exposure can affect your children today as well as in the future. In fact, some of the effects may not become apparent until later in life.
Children may also absorb pesticides more easily. And because of their still-developing body, they may be less capable of breaking them down.Keep in mind that foods aren't the only way your preschooler may come in contact with pesticides. Pesticides also make their way into drinking water. If you use pesticides in your home or yard, your child will also be exposed. He could even ingest pesticides after they're brought into your home on the soles of shoes if your child plays on the floor or eats something he's picked up off the floor, for example.Pesticides can cross the placenta, which means that pregnant women need to take care to avoid contact. Be careful when giving away flowers to your recently prengnant wife for example.
Aren't there regulations that protect us from pesticides?
While federal regulations have been gradually eliminating the use of some of the most dangerous pesticides, more remain. In addition, tests have found that some produce contains high levels of pesticides that have long been banned in the United States but that are still in the soil. When farmers plant in contaminated soils, they often end up with contaminated produce.