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Monday, January 28, 2008
Are Your Neighbors Poisoning You?

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By Heather Andrews

Everyone should be aware of what chemicals their neighbors are using in their yard. If you don’t have a Home Owners Association to help regulate the use of toxic pesticides, you should make an agreement with those in your neighborhood. So many people fail to properly follow the application instructions and correctly dispose of pesticides that it could be poisoning you or your family. Some studies have shown a link between some pesticides and certain cancers. Research has even shown that pesticides can increase a child’s risk of certain types of cancers, including brain tumors, and birth defects.

Pesticide Spray

One growing concern related to chemical pesticides is a condition called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). MCS can be caused by several different chemicals and is not limited to just pesticides although that has reportedly been the culprit of MCS in many cases before. Those with MCS become more sensitive to small amounts of these chemicals than others. The symptoms can be similar to those with mental disorders so it is hard to diagnose and has no cure. It is theorized that MCS affects a certain part of the brain that controls emotions and some behaviors leaving people with mental disorder symptoms when the odor of these chemicals is present.

If pesticides are being improperly used in your neighborhood or along the roadside, they can be dangerous to your health. These pesticides can be tracked indoors by your shoes, pets and other items you bring into your living space. Continued use of pesticides in your community can lead to the development of MCS. Those with MCS say that living in a neighborhood using chemicals that trigger their systems can be torture and has even forced some to move.

Here are the important steps to help ensure your family is safe from the health effects of common pesticides:

  • Talk to your neighbors or HOA about the community rules for using pesticides.

  • Find non-toxic pesticides or alternative solutions to your outdoor pest control problems.

  • Wash your indoor plants, pets and patio furniture regularly.

  • Make sure you and your neighbors are using pesticides properly.

  • Dispose of any pesticide containers as instructed on the label.

Healthy grass is important to our environment, but not as important as a healthy family. Don’t put yourself or those around you in danger by careless or excessive use of toxic pest control chemicals.

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