Advertisement
Opinion News
April 18,2018

Why pesticides are a bane

Evaggelos Vallianatos

Pesticides cause a multitude of adverse effects on humans. However, they are especially harmful to children. They may have something to do with the mass-shootings in schools all over America because some of them are neurotoxins. This means they affect and damage the central nervous system and the brain – of all animals, including humans.

Warren Porter, professor emeritus of zoology at the University of Wisconsin, conducted experiments with ground water – water drawn from the ground of farms with typical levels of pesticides and fertilizers. He chose farm water contaminated with the insecticide aldicarb, the herbicide atrazine, and nitrogen fertilizer. He tested that mixture on white mice and deer mice.

The concentrations of the fertilizer with each of the pesticides (aldicarb and atrazine) in the ground water were of the order of magnitude the Environmental Protection Agency says the chemicals cause “no unreasonable harm to man and the environment.” In other words, Porter put to the ultimate test the assurances of EPA and the chemical industry about the toxins EPA registers (approves) – that they are safe and farmers may spray on crops Americans eat.

Porter discovered the mixture of common ground water and farm chemicals had detrimental effects on the animals’ nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. The mice became aggressive and had problems with their thyroid hormones. Their immune system was also compromised in its ability to make antibodies against foreign proteins.

For those who would dismiss these findings because only mice were affected by the toxic farm water, consider the following:

Millions of Americans drink the same ground water mixture that Porter used on the mice. Second, thyroid “disruption in humans,” according to Porter, can have unpleasant consequences with the development of the brain, the growth of our body, and our ability to learn. In addition, harm of the thyroid can have adverse effects on our immune system generating defensive enzymes to protect us from foreign proteins.

Third, thyroid disruption can have destructive effects on amphibians – affecting their metamorphosis and survival.

After five years of experiments, Porter published his findings in 1999. His work is a warning that contaminated drinking water has the potential of muddling or slowing down or, in the worst case, destroying the intelligence and learning of children, while making then aggressive.

This is not entirely a theoretical concern. Another American researcher, professor Elizabeth Guillette of the University of Florida, reached similar conclusions in 1998 about the effects of pesticides on the behavior of Mexican children.

Professor Guillette studied Yaqui children, four to five years old. These children live in the Yaqui Valley of the Sonora state in northwestern Mexico. Agriculture in the Yaqui Valley is industrialized so the use of pesticides, including the DDT-like organochlorines banned in the United States, is heavy. In such an environment, the exposure of children to dozens of different toxins is a documented fact.

Guillette found that those children had weaken stamina; could not catch a ball at a distance of three meters; failed to be fully creative in their play, failed to remember meaningful statements after thirty minutes; roaming aimlessly or swimming in irrigation ditches with very little interaction.

This article has been excerpted from: ‘Pesticides Are Making Children Aggressive’.

Courtesy: Commondreams.org


Read Complete Story
Advertisement

More From Opinion