The chemicals used in pest control, generally known as pesticides, are applied to lessen the damage that pests can do to crops. Many people are worried about its use because there are sometimes residues left on the surface of the plants, fruits, and vegetables that we consume. To better understand how it affects the food we serve on our table, here is a list of the things you must know about pesticides:
Pesticide Types used in Agriculture
Pesticides may either be synthetic or organic. Synthetic pesticides produce inside industrial laboratories, are made to target specific pests while having low levels of toxins for the other animals and the environment in general. They also have a longer shelf life and is readily available in the market.
Organic pesticides, on the other hand, are naturally occurring chemicals derived from plants. Organic farmers usually use them. Buying natural products do not mean that they were grown without the use of pesticide, but rather, it conveys that the pesticides used were organic. These pesticides can still be harmful to your health and the environment.
Regulation and Safety Limits
Different organizations like the World Health Organization, US FDA, and many others are in charge of studying the information about the pesticide and creating a specific limit for exposure. Regulatory requirements state that the amount of pesticide on food must be below harmful levels.
There is no conclusive evidence that the trace amounts of chemicals build up on the body over time. There are research findings that show how harmful symptoms are still not observable, even if the chemical rate is slightly above the regulated threshold. The recorded outbreaks from pesticides were also found out to be from the farmers’ incorrect application and not because of the pesticide itself.
Effects of Prolonged Exposure to Pesticides
Whether it is a synthetic or organic pesticide, there are still harmful effects if the intake is of a dosage higher than normal.
Exposure to high levels of pesticide is associated with cancer, autism, Parkinson’s disease, and ADHD. However, the said study does not state if the pesticide exposure is due to food consumption or environmental exposure, such as living near a farm that regularly applies pesticides. Women with high levels of pesticide on urine during their pregnancy were also at a high risk of giving birth to a child with ADHD.
While pest control gilbert is a necessary process that cannot be skipped in to produce our needs, there are ways by which we can lessen our exposure to chemicals. First is to make sure that our products are following the regulatory limit set by the WHO. You can also reduce the chemicals on the food surface by washing and cooking them correctly.