Pesticides and Children
Children are particularly susceptible to the hazards associated with pesticide use. There is now considerable scientific evidence that the human brain is not fully formed until the age of 12, and childhood exposure to some of the most common pesticides on the market may greatly impact the development of the central nervous system. Children have more skin surface for their size than adults, absorb proportionally greater amounts of many substances through their lungs and intestinal tracts, and take in more air, food and water per pound than adults. Children have not developed their immune systems, nervous systems, or detoxifying mechanisms completely, leaving them less capable of fighting the introduction of toxic pesticides into their systems.
Many of the activities that children engage in – playing in the grass, putting objects into their mouth and even playing on carpet – increase their exposure to toxic pesticides. The combination of likely increased exposure to pesticides and lack of bodily development to combat the toxic effects of pesticides means that children are suffering disproportionately from their impacts.