This is a section that we could spend days on. We believe pesticides are the primary trigger for our daughter's seizures. She began having seizures right after we started having our home exterminated. Unfortunately, it took us nearly a year to begin to make the connection. In the meantime, our home was treated every 2 months and the toxins continued to accumulate in her 2-year-old little body.
Every exterminator will tell you that their products are (1) safe, (2) derived from natural plant sources (primarily chrysanthemum flowers), and (3) used in schools and daycare facilities. First, NEVER BELIEVE THESE PRODUCTS ARE SAFE! Second, it is true that a lot of the pesticides are derived from plant sources; however, they are chemically altered to become pesticides. Third, yes, these products are used in schools and daycares, but that hardly makes them safe.
Anything that ends with "-cide" means "to kill" - e.g. homicide, genocide, suicide, pesticide, herbicide, etc.... Although pesticides are designed to kill "pests" and herbicides are designed to kill "weeds", the chemicals in these products are so toxic that every living being is affected in some way. Not only do these products harm us as humans, but also our pets, backyard creatures (squirrels, rabbits, etc.), honey bees, ladybugs, and all other "beneficial insects".
There is a great website you can visit to find the Chemical Watch Fact Sheets for most pesticides: http://www.beyondpesticides.org/. You will be shocked to find out what these products can do. And not only commercial grade products that exterminators use, but also insect repellents and insect sprays you can find in any grocery store, Wal-Mart, or drug store (e.g. Raid, Black Flag, Off!, etc.).
Many are carcinogens, most affect the central nervous system, many are endocrine system disrupters which causes problems with the reproductive organs and the immune system. They have been linked to a whole host of neurological problems from seizures to hyperactivity and attention deficit disorders to learning disabilities. Many have been linked to the increase in childhood cancers. Many have been linked to breast cancer. The list of environmental and personal problems is endless, but the general public has no idea of the danger we are all in.
But let's focus primarily on our children, especially young children.
- Where do they play? On the floor.
- What do they put in their mouths? Everything from toys to their own hands and feet, which have all been on the floor.
- Where are the pesticides administered? In the air - which we breathe first before it settles on the floor - or around the perimeters of a room, which again is on the floor.
- Where else are pesticides? On our pets in the form of flea prevention (Advantix, Frontline, etc.). And it doesn't wash off. Our children pet, sleep and rough-house with them and are exposed to the same chemicals as the pet.
- Where else are pesticides? They are used outside to fog areas that have mosquitoes and other nuisances. The chemicals settle on the grass, playgrounds, and any other toy that has been left outside.
Our children (and pets) are more directly impacted than any other population. Additionally, our children's bodies (their organs, their glands, their bodily systems) are not fully developed. This allows toxins to damage them more easily and cause more long-term side effects.
As a side note, pesticides do not just disappear after they are applied. These chemicals linger for days and months. Our daughter has to stay away from any place that has been treated for at least one week.
Before using any type of pesticide, please exercise extreme caution and investigate less toxic solutions first.
Lastly, as of 2005 Federal Law (House Bill 1502, the Act to Enact the Children's Health Act of 2005) requires all schools to notify parents of pesticide applications. If you have a school-age child, you need to make sure this law is being adhered to. (Our school district was not, but they are now.) If you suspect your child may be chemically sensitive, you may want to visit your school's administration to see if your school can only be treated over long holidays or summer vacation when children will not be on campus. You may want to discuss this with your child's preschool, church, or any other place you visit on a regular basis.