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Some of insecticides used by licensed farmers over past 25 years are no longer available commercially. DDT, a well known example of an organochlorine, has been banned for use in US since 1972. Organophosphates, such as malathion, chlorypyrifos, and diazinon, have been banned or restricted for home and garden use in US. However, some of pesticides examined, including carbaryl and some pyrethroids, are available to home gardeners, although in different formulations and in lower concentrations, which may make them less hazardous.
"Because participants in this study are telling us they have never been previously diagnosed with pesticide poisoning or medically treated for any exposure to any pesticide, we are led to conclude that their symptoms are related to moderate lifetime exposure," said Dr. Kamel.
Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, are used widely in agriculture and around house. With over 25,000 brands of pesticides available in United States, use of organophosphates is probably more common than most people suspect. Many toxic nerve agents, used in milary applications are also also organophosphates.
Organochlorines are named as organic molecules bound with chlorine atoms. These include PCBs and DDT. Some organochlorines are also known as xenoestrogens because of their ability to mimic estrogen in body. These compounds have been theorized to be at root of a variety of estrogen-dominate illnesses in woman, like endometriosis and in wide spread genetic defects in wildlife like three-legged frogs reported in Florida.
While this report does focus on farmers whose "moderate exposure" is likely higher than most people in home, this report should serve as a caution to indiscriminate use of such products in house and especially in presence of children and those with weakened immune systems. Many of these compounds were initially popular because of their hardiness in environment, meaning compounds last longer to provide more killing effectiveness. This may be a good feature for economics of agriculture and warfare, but at what consequence?
Dave Saunders is a certified nutritional educator, wellness coach, member of the American International Association of Nutritional Education (AIANE) and author. He is also the host of a weekly, nation-wide telephone lecture on health and nutrition. For additional information, please visit his site on nutrition and glyconutrients at www.glycoboy.com or www.glycowellness.com or email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org