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And all the time there is more evidence surfacing that human exposure to pesticides is linked to health problems.For example, in May 2010, scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University released a study that found that exposure to pesticide residues on vegetables and fruit may double a child’s risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a condition that can cause inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in children.Endocrine disruption can produce infertility and a variety of birth defects and developmental defects in offspring, including hormonal imbalance and incomplete sexual development, impaired brain development, behavioral disorders, and many others.
The combination of likely increased exposure to pesticides and lack of bodily development to combat the toxic effects of pesticides means that children are suffering disproportionately from their impacts.“As I've traveled across North America in the past decade to stem the tide of pesticide abuse, it makes me realize how fortunate we are to have a passionate, effective organization like Toxics Action Center right here in our own backyard." -Paul Tukey, best selling author and host of 'People, Places, and Plants.' When Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962, she raised public awareness about the effects of pesticide use on our health and our environment.However, almost forty years after Carson drew attention to the health and environmental impacts of DDT, use of equally hazardous pesticides has only increased.Pesticides and the Environment Since the publication of Rachel Carson’s landmark 1962 book Silent Spring, the impacts of pesticides on the environment have been well known. Some can accumulate in water systems, pollute the air, and in some cases have other dramatic environmental effects.Scientists are discovering new threats to the environment that are equally disturbing.It is difficult to find somewhere where pesticides aren't used -- from the can of bug spray under the kitchen sink to the airplane crop dusting acres of farmland, our world is filled with pesticides.In addition, pesticides can be found in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.Children have more skin surface for their size than adults, absorb proportionally greater amounts of many substances through their lungs and intestinal tracts, and take in more air, food and water per pound than adults.Children have not developed their immune systems, nervous systems, or detoxifying mechanisms completely, leaving them less capable of fighting the introduction of toxic pesticides into their systems.Acute dangers - such as nerve, skin, and eye irritation and damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and systemic poisoning - can sometimes be dramatic, and even occasionally fatal.Chronic health effects may occur years after even minimal exposure to pesticides in the environment, or result from the pesticide residues which we ingest through our food and water.