Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens
Inspirational Gardens

What You May Not Know About Pesticides

February 18th, 2013 | Posted by John Rice in Pesticides

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 on the inert ingredients or on the overall formulation. This means that only 1 to 4% of what is in the bag or bottle is tested, and that testing is done by the manufacturer not the EPA.
  • Inert does not mean non-toxic. The inert ingredients are what makes the formulation work and they are 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.  Then leave the area after spraying: as the sun shines on the sprayed leaves, the product volatizes and becomes airborne, and is considered unsafe to breathe. If the spray/drippings does 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 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, and the exercise we get. More and more towns are banning synthetic pesticide use on town properties and parks to protect public health.

** Last year I had one  “emergency” situation where I used a synthetic pesticide.

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