Pesticides are the only toxic substances released intentionally into our environment to kill living things. This includes substances that kill weeds (herbicides), insects (insecticides), fungus (fungicides), rodents (rodenticides), and others.
The use of toxic pesticides to manage pest problems has become a common practice around the world. Pesticides are used almost everywhere — not only in agricultural fields, but also in homes, parks, schools, buildings, forests, and roads. 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.
“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. 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.
Pesticides are used in our schools, parks, and public lands. Pesticides are sprayed on agricultural fields and wood lots. Pesticides can be found in our air, our food, our soil, our water and even in our breast milk.