Study Questions Pesticide Use
Many Neem Tree Farm customers know that we started growing neem because I’m chemically sensitive, probably because I grew roses and vegetables with standard pesticides and dipped dogs in toxic flea killers nearly every weekend for years. I followed directions on the products exactly,but even 15 years later,I can still come down with a nasty headache if I’m exposed to anything poisonous.
That’s why it didn’t come as a major surprise to me when a new report indicated that women who use insecticides regularly have a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, disorders that occur when the immune system attacks the body it should be protecting. It follows an earlier report showing that farmers have a higher risk of auto-immune disorders.
Granted,the risk is still small, only about 2% of adults will develop them, but women who mixed and used the most insecticdes appear to have twice the incidence as women who didn’t use them. And because the women involved in the study ranged in age from 50 to 79, they could have been exposed to pesticides that are no longer on the market in the US.
But when you combine that report with the fact that some pesticides are pulled after years on the market — including dursban, once the most widely used household pesticide in the country, it’s clear that it’s smart to avoid contact with pesticides whenever possible.