“I’m an advocate for common sense. If an exterminator uses a chemical that makes a spider drop dead right in front of you, what’s its effect on a child?”
Erin Brockovich – President of Brockovich Research & Consulting
Did you know that the American Cancer Society conducted a study in 2000 that found that children exposed to pesticides in the home may be three to seven times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), compared to unexposed children?
The American Academy of Pediatrics has also indicated that based on epidemiologic studies, adverse birth outcomes from exposure to pesticides include preterm birth, low birth weight, congenital anomalies, pediatric cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive defects, and asthma.
According to Healthy Child Healthy World, each year in the United States more than 1 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides – insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides and fungicides are applied in agriculture, homes, schools, parks, playgrounds and daycare centers. The National Toxicology Program has found in animal bioassays that a number of widely used pesticides are carcinogenic. Case-control epidemiologic studies have found consistent, modest associations between pesticide exposures in utero and in early childhood and acute lymphocytic leukemia, childhood brain cancer and childhood non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Rates of childhood leukemia are consistently elevated among children who grow up on farms, among children whose parents used pesticides in the home or garden, and among children of pesticide applicators.
Yes, pests are a nuisance when they invade our outdoor space and most especially inside our homes. Many families resort to using pest control companies to eliminate pests. Don’t be fooled by pest control companies who claim they are “organic”. In the state of California, it is illegal for a pest control company to advertise pest control products as EPA registered or safe for humans, children or pets. The term organic has now become popular because people associate safety with the term organic. However, the definition of organic as it applies to pest control is as follows:
“Organic – noting or pertaining to a class of chemical compounds that formerly comprised only those existing in or derived from plants or animals, but that now includes all other compounds of carbon.”
Basically, any product that contains a carbon molecule can be advertised as organic.
So, how can you eliminate pests in a truly safe, non-toxic way for your family? There are many ways to target elimination of pests using natural, household products – the method depends on the type of pest. Check out the information found on Mother Earth Living – Natural Pest Control and eartheasy – Natural Insect Pest Control.
If you don’t have the inclination to make the natural solutions outlined in the links above, there is a company called Wondercide that makes natural pest control products in the USA. Their Biodefense indoor pest control solution is made of 10% Cedarwood Oil and 90% Hydrated Silica. According to the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, both cedarwood oil and hydrated silica have a toxicity rating of 1. Check out Wondercide BioDefense on Amazon.com!
Their Ecotreat outdoor pest control solution is made from organic cedar oil and ethyl lactate (corn oil by product). On the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database, ethyl lactate has a toxicity rating of 4. Although it has been approved for use in cosmetics, it is restricted in concentration as it is a skin, eye and lung irritant. Check out Wondercide EcoTreat on Amazon.com!
Throughout their product line, Wondercide uses cedarwood oil for effective pest control as its smell triggers an unfavorable feeling in insects by disrupting their pheromone patterns. There are concerns noted about the safety of some essential oil concentrations such as cedarwood, and studies have shown that prolonged exposure to high levels of cedarwood oil can cause liver and pulmonary toxicity. Note that the EPA does not expect such effects to occur among users of currently registered products because their use and public exposure is a much lower level and more intermittent then those in the case studies. EPA believes there is negligible human environmental risk posed by exposure to registered cedar-wood pesticide or food preservative products if used in properly prescribed manner.