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Pesticides Inside our Bodies

Most of us have unhealthy levels of pesticides inside our bodies, from yards (or own and others) and the food we eat, as well as air and water. There's no way to avoid being exposed to them.

When the Pesticide Action Network looked for levels of 23 different pesticides in data on over 2,500 people, they found that the average person had at least 13 of them in their blood and urine. Margaret Reeves of PAN says, "A growing body of research suggests that even at very low levels, the combination of these chemicals can be harmful to our health."

Children between the ages of 6 and 11 are exposed to the nerve-damaging pesticide chlorpyrifos at four times the acceptable level. Chlorpyrifos kills insects by disrupting their nervous system.

Dow is the largest pesticide manufacturer in the country. Spokesman Garry Hamlin says, "Chlorpyrifos is widely used, and studies by the Centers for Disease Control suggest that people are exposed to chlorpyrifos at very tiny levels?When people are exposed, the product breaks down readily and is eliminated from the body in a matter of days."

The PAN report shows that women carry "significantly" higher levels of three pesticides called organochlorines, which can reduce birth weight and disrupt brain development in infants. It also found that Mexican Americans carry higher levels of the insecticides lindane, DDT and methyl parthion than other ethnic groups.

More than pesticides may have escaped from a little-known lab in Long Island known as Lab 257?it may be the source of both West Nile virus and Lyme Disease!

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