In today’s world, it is almost impossible to avoid exposure to pesticides completely. While many people think that purchasing organic foods will prevent them from being exposed to these harmful substances, this is not always the case. Even when exposed to minute amounts of pesticide residue, the body can suffer from irreparable long-term side effects and damage.
Fertility Issues and Decreased Sperm Counts
Over the past decade, sperm counts in men have been decreasing rapidly, while many women have also been struggling to conceive. During this time, many studies have been carried out, and they have revealed that exposure to pesticides from foods as well as many modern household cleaning products may be responsible for the increase in fertility-related conditions. Washing fruit and vegetables may not always remove pesticide residue, which is why it is important to purchase organic fruit and vegetables as often as possible.
Various Forms of Cancer
Although there has been much debate surrounding the fact that long-term exposure to pesticides could lead to the development of various forms of cancer, there is now far more confirmed evidence available to support these claims. In many cases, people who have lived close to commercial farms that use pesticide products are at a far higher risk of developing cancer than those who don’t. Pesticides are classified as carcinogenic, which means that they have the ability to cause cancer in sensitive individuals.
Cognitive Dysfunction and Learning Disorders
Long-term exposure to pesticide products has been linked to conditions such as mild cognitive dysfunction (MCD). This condition can cause sufferers to slur their speech and experience severely delayed reactions to situations around them. Those at the highest risk of developing a condition like this include farmers and avid gardeners, as they usually use large amounts of pesticide-based products. Children who are exposed to these substances are especially vulnerable to the development of various learning disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In most cases, the damage caused to the brain by these substances is irreversible.
The amount of organ failure cases has increased alarmingly over the past few years, and it is thought that pesticide exposure may be one of the main contributing factors to this. This is especially true when it comes to nephritis or kidney failure, because this organ is almost entirely responsible for excreting foreign substances from the body. The increase in pesticide use and exposure has resulted in these organs having to work harder than usual, which is why they are more susceptible to failure than ever before.
As more and more people are becoming aware of the hazardous side effects associated with pesticide exposure, it is hoped that the use of these products will continue to decrease around the world. However, until this happens, the best we can do as consumers is to be aware of where our food comes from, support our local organic farmers and ensure that we do everything possible to reduce our use of harmful chemical-based pesticides in our homes. Above Image Source: Flickr/CreativeCommons/Michelle Tribe