Pesticides represent a large group of chemical products (including herbicides) designed to kill or harm unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents.
Pesticides are used in a variety of settings, including homes, schools, parks, lawns, gardens, and farms. While they may kill insects, rodents, and weeds, some are toxic to people when consumed in food and water.
More research is needed to determine the short- and long-term effects of pesticides on humans. Although some studies have found connections between some childhood cancers and an exposure to pesticides, other studies have not reached the same conclusions. Many pesticides disrupt the nervous system of insects, and research has shown that they have the potential to damage the neurological system of children.
Try to limit your child’s unnecessary exposure to pesticides. To reduce such exposure:
- Minimize using foods in which chemical pesticides were used by farmers.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables with water before your child consumes them.
- For your own lawn and garden, use nonchemical pest control methods whenever possible. If you keep bottles of pesticides in your home or garage, make sure they’re out of the reach of children to avoid any accidental poisoning.
- Avoid routinely spraying homes or schools to prevent insect infestations.
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