To use anything registered with the EPA one needs a pesticide license, so I have one. ** I learned some interesting facts while recently renewing my license:
- The EPA requires testing only on the active ingredients in a solution. There is no testing required on the inert ingredients or on the overall formulation the manufacturer puts together and which we then purchase. What you actually buy in the store is not tested, so with roundup for instance, the glyphosate that goes in roundup is tested by Monsanto and reported to the EPA. The mixture that makes up roundup is not tested and reported to the EPA). I’m not picking on Monsanto, (I use to work for them many years ago) this is true for all pesticides and herbicides any company makes.
- Inert does not mean non-toxic. The inert ingredients are what make the formulation work and they are a copyrighted secret. They are known to be toxic.
- The EPA does not require any long-term or repeated exposure studies. At the same time, pesticide applicators are trained to soak the leaves they are spraying till the solution starts dripping to the ground. They then leave the area after spraying and as the sun shines on the sprayed leaves, the product volatizes and becomes airborne and is considered unsafe to breathe. If the spray/drippings do come in contact with the person applying it, that person is trained to immediately check the safety information (MSDS) for the product and to follow the instructions (ranging from a shower to an immediate trip to the hospital). So we put the pesticide on the plant, in the ground and in the air.
- Besides those applying synthetic pesticides, homeowners, their family and visitors on whose property the products are used have potential long term or repeated exposure health issues.
- 33% of our local amphibians are endangered; frogs can die within an hour of coming in contact with a pesticide. The EPA requires no amphibian testing.
Thirty years ago the biggest indicator/predictor of cancer was hereditary. Now, the biggest predictors are environmental: the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the chemical we use in and outside our house, the chemicals our pets and children bring in on there shoes and the exercise we get. The good news is that the water and air for the most part are getting cleaner. More and more towns are banning synthetic pesticide use on town properties and parks to protect public health.
** Last year I had four “emergency” situations where I used a synthetic pesticide.