Taking a walk around my neighborhood the other day, my nose was assaulted by the sharp scent of lawn chemicals. It seemed that almost every other house had one of those tiny yellow signs sticking out of the grass -- pesticide application, keep off! -- and the smell to prove it. I've always wondering about those signs. If what you are putting on the lawn is poisonous, how will placing a tiny yellow sign on the lawn for a day or two prevent any harm at all? I truly do not understand the logic.
This is not an idle thought for me; rather, something I've been pondering for years. It's become even more salient as I've dealt with my own breast cancer, something I'm certain resulted, in part, from estrogenic compounds in the environment such as pesticides.
Consider this from the Breast Cancer Fund:
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that exposures to toxic chemicals, including pesticides, in the environment are contributing to high breast cancer rates. Pesticides used in and around the home and in agriculture are used to control pests like weeds (herbicides), fungus (fungicides), insects including fleas and ticks on pets (insecticides) and rodents (rodenticides).Let's just say that I'm not counting on those little yellow signs to protect me from anything anytime soon, okay?
Pesticides are just one of many daily toxic exposures. We can be exposed to unsafe chemicals through the use of pesticides in our yards, on our pets, in public parks or on the food we eat as well as from certain plastics, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
Even though some pesticides have been banned, they remain in the body and the environment for decades. DDT, perhaps the most studied pesticide, was banned in the U.S. in 1973 but can still be found in household dust samples and in the body fat of humans and animals and in human breast milk and placenta.