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What Are The Health Effects of Pesticides?
When you go to the grocery store and you are standing in front of the price tags on the produce, this is the last thing you want to think about. Priorities are tricky. It’s sometimes hard to remember that in real life they layer on top of each other and prioritize themselves according to underlying beliefs that you may not even know you have. 

In this article, in addition to talking about what pesticides do to our bodies and our futures, I propose that we disconnect all those belief overlays and just learn. It isn’t always easy to do. I know that we are trained in our society to quickly sort information into good and bad, or want and unwanted, and then get a solution to the problem as quickly as possible. Today, while you are reading this, keep in mind that there are always lots of solutions to a problem and it is likely you will find one that suits your lifestyle. Now, on to the important information.
Short Term Signs Of Pesticide Poisoning
When you work around pesticides, your risk levels can be very high for pesticide poisoning, meaning enough pesticides in your system to cause immediate adverse effects. These should be taken very seriously. Obviously, you must first deal with the immediate threat and then find ways to reduce your exposure in the long run. Keep in mind that farm workers are not the only ones at risk for high exposure, home gardeners who use pesticides and people who live close to agricultural areas. 
According to Cornell University there are three classifications of pesticide poisoning that require immediate attention:
Mild Poisoning or Early Symptoms of Acute Poisoning headache, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat.

Moderate Poisoning or Early Symptoms of Acute Poisoning nausea, diarrhea, excessive saliva, stomach cramps, excessive perspiration, trembling, no muscle coordination, muscle twitches, extreme weakness, mental confusion, blurred vision, difficulty in breathing, cough, rapid pulse, flushed or yellow skin, weeping.
Severe or Acute Poisoning fever, intense thirst, increased rate of breathing, vomiting, uncontrollable muscle twitches, pinpoint pupils, convulsions, inability to breathe, unconsciousness.”

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect pesticide poisoning seek medical attention immediately.
Long Term Effects Of Pesticides On Humans
There are multiple studies on the long term effects of consuming pesticides in food. Some studies focus on how much pesticide is passed from mother to child in mother’s milk, others concentrate on pesticide levels in blood samples throughout the family and even include a timeline of how quickly (or not) pesticides leave the body once exposure is eliminates. Most pesticides leave the body in a matter of weeks (some longer) but the long term damage from exposure can last much, much longer. One study on young children (4-5 years old) who live close to agricultural areas showed significant differences in physical development and cognitive function. 

Many Americans eat “conventional” food without much thought for the health cost of that choice. Below find a list that clearly innumerates the “cost” of choosing food that has been contaminated with pesticides.

The "cost" of thoughtless or cavalier behavior today can be quite high. Depending on how often you choose to eat poisonous foods and how effectively you detoxify your body on a regular basis, the consequences range from mere inconvenience to full fledged, raging out of control, neurological diseases, a whole host of cancers and even passing on birth defects, autism, and asthma to the next generation. 

These seem like simple choices, but the reality is, when it comes to subtle or long-term negative health effects, most people think they are "10-foot tall & bullet proof." The truth is far from it.
Pesticide Induced Health Issues
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • ​Learning Disabilities
  • ​Birth Defects
  • ​Reproductive Dysfunction
  • ​Diabetes
  • ​Parkinson's Disease
  • ​Alzheimer's Disease
  • ​Brain Cancer
  • ​Breast Cancer
  • ​Leukemia
  • ​Lymphomas (blood cancers)
  • ​Prostate Cancer
  • ​Endocrine Disorders (thyroid, adrenals...)
Sources Of Pesticides
In today’s world, it almost seems hopeless to try to pinpoint the source of pesticide exposure because they have become an inextricable part o four day to day lives. However, there is a lot that we can do to reduce exposure and limits the impact of pesticide exposure. 
Organic vs. Conventional Produce (non-organic)
Always buy organic produce when possible. Check out our article on ways to reduce pesticide exposure to help you navigate the best procedures when it isn’t possible to get organic produce. Don’t forget that it isn’t just our produce that has pesticides, so when you are choosing your “junk food” reach for organic, your meats, cheeses, dairy… choose organic. (Many of you know that I recommend a diet that avoids many meats and dairy. What I am trying to say here is, do the best you can from where you are and keep making the next best choice possible)
Pesticides In Tap Water
Pesticides in our drinking water is a real concern. Pesticides pose a substantial risk in any area where the tap water is drawn from an underground source. Since the early 1900s pesticides have been poured all over the ground with little regard or knowledge about the consequences of these harsh chemicals. It is only in the last 50 years that we have really been concerned about curtailing this behavior and in fact, recent changes in the EPA have made legislation to curb the use of dangerous chemicals in farming more difficult. This means that more and more we must be aware of the source and contamination of our drinking water and take steps to avoid these toxins or purify the water to minimize exposure.

Heavy metals have long been a part of pesticide cocktails which means that when we use the term “pesticides” we should automatically be including the toxicity of heavy metals exposure as part of the conversation. According to GMWATCH (.org) “the toxic heavy metals (arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel) were found at levels well above those permitted in drinking water. They were detected in 22 pesticides, including 11 glyphosate-based ones.”
Now that it is clear that pesticides can really create undesirable situations in your body, let’s figure out how to reduce your exposure to pesticides. Check out our article: 7 ways to reduce pesticide exposure
If you have an interest in learning more about pesticides, heavy metals toxicity and the easy, all-natural solutions, click below.
About The Author
Donnalynn Riley is a Health Coach, Quantum Biofeedback Specialist and food entrepreneur. Her primary purpose is to bring ease and joy into the world through powerful programs designed to address body, mind & spirit. Happy Body, Happy Family, Happy Work-life, Happy Play-life, Happy Spirit!
Donnalynn Riley, Founder
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