Pesticide use and childhood cancer

Be careful what you use to rid your home of bugs and other pests. It might be more harmful than you think.

A new report makes a strong case for finding alternatives to pesticide use in the home, as pesticide exposure has links to an increase in childhood cancer and other issues. A group from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at the results of 16 different studies, combining data examining rates of leukemia and lymphoma in children exposed to pesticides in and around the home. They found that children exposed to insecticides applied inside the home were 47% more likely to have leukemia and 43% more likely to have lymphoma than children not exposed.

Chensheng Lu, an associate professor of environmental biology who led the study, mentioned in the CNN article on the study that childhood cancers appear to be on the rise. Although leukemia and lymphoma are somewhat rare, they still effect about 5 out of 100,000 children in the US. There are likely many contributors to these illnesses, pesticides being thought of as one of the major culprits for some time. The hope is that this new study might encourage further study to look seriously at the impact of these powerful chemicals.

The article will appear in the journal Pediatrics in October. To see the study click HERE.

To read the CNN article click HERE.

A suggestion of the study encourages the use of less harmful remedies, such as diatomaceous earth or traps. Also important is to realize that if you spray a chemical like a pesticide on any surface, it may remain there for some time. It can then easily transfer to your child’s hand, or your own. Generally these chemicals are designed to be robust, so they can be more pervasive than you might think.

We encourage you to read through the research and consider making different choices for your home. When we talk about removing toxins from your environment, this is exactly the kind of thing we mean. Sure these chemicals prove effective, but ultimately the cost may be too great.

Check out the articles, and then share your thoughts and experiences. Have you found more natural solutions to manage pests in your home? Your wisdom can benefit us all, so please leave a comment.

To Your Health.

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