Pesticides and Children

Here’s what contributor Sari Karmin learned at a recent webinar organized by Healthy Food Action about children’s health and pesticides…

The seminar was led by Kristin Schafer, Senior Policy Strategist at PAN (Pesticide Action Network) and Bruce Lanphear, MD, a clinical scientist and what they had to say about pesticides and kids was downright scary. Frighteningly,  products containing pesticides appear on the market before their impact on children’s health is properly assessed. However, there is so much evidence that pesticide exposure and childhood diseases are connected, scientists are conducting hundreds of studies to prove that correlation. Past studies conducted by PAN have, in fact, linked ADHD, childhood cancer, autism, developmental disabilities, and other conditions within the last decade or longer to prenatal exposure to pesticides.

So, what can we do?

On a policy level, there is much room for improvement. Products containing harmful pesticides must be subjected to independent safety testing before being sold to unwitting to consumers. Some of these chemicals are ending up in household cleaners, and people have the right to know what they are using in their own homes. This means increased funding for research needs to happen and policy in place to prevent products from being sold that have proven dangerous to children. Also, products already on the market with harmful pesticides, need to be removed.

Areas near schools, day-cares, and neighborhoods in agricultural centers  need to be designated as pesticide-free zones. Children are most vulnerable in areas near farms! Funding for organic farmers needs to be increased!

If you can afford it, BUY ORGANIC.

Buying organic household cleaning products removes any fear of using harmful pesticides within your home.  Breathe easy!

Buying organic foods (especially fruits and vegetables) means you can consume produce and foods that have not been treated by the most harmful of chemicals.

Want to learn more about pesticides and children’s health? Visit:

 Healthy Kids Campaign: http://www.panna.org/current-campaigns/kids-health

What’s on my Food?: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/

Ground Truth Blog: http://www.panna.org/blog

Pesticide Info: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/