by Dr. Pooneh Ramezani, DDS
By now the benefits of eating organic foods and using organic products are well-known. But the next time you’re shopping at the grocery store or even online and choosing between organic or conventional items, know that the decision affects more than your very own health.
For farmworkers, their children and those living in farming communities, pesticide exposure puts their health and wellness in serious danger. In fact, Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 10,000-20,000 physician-diagnosed pesticide poisonings occur each year among the approximately 2 million U.S. agricultural workers.
Unfortunately, many of these farmworkers are forced to work in these toxic conditions, in order to support their own families, only because conventional produce is still accepted and dominates the marketplace. The chemicals sprayed onto crops, like strawberries, have both short and long-term effects on the farmworkers who are exposed to the pesticides daily.
Short-Term Effects of Pesticides
- stinging eyes
Long-Term Effects of Pesticides
- birth defects
- endocrine disruption
- neurological disorders
Some effects are delayed, however, and may not be immediately apparent. And because many of the symptoms resemble other illnesses such as the flu, so many workers aren’t aware of the exposure. But with the consumer awareness and support, we have the ability to make changes. Buying products with natural and organic products can shift the market towards a healthier, safer world for all of us.
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For additional reading: Dr. Brite Organic Personal Care Products
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