PESTICIDE HEALTH DANGERS
I was driving down the M1 motorway last Saturday morning when all of a sudden there was this misty fog coming off the fields with the all too familiar smell of insecticide.
A local Euro MP is warning of the health dangers of pesticides as experts confirm that people who use pesticide sprays on their houseplants may be at a greater risk of developing brain tumours.
“A study*just out makes a clear link between domestic use of pesticides and an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Glenis Willmott, a member of the European Parliament’s influential Health and Environment Committee.
“Not only are these sprays used inside your house, with little if any ventilation but manufacturers are recommending they are used every week.
“Women could be more susceptible as in the study they were more likely to spray houseplants.
“This comes hard on the heels of results from testing by the Pesticides Residues Committee which showed that three quarters of the fresh produce provided free to schoolchildren across the country is contaminated with these potentially harmful chemicals.
“I am working on an action plan to guard against the long and short term health risks of pesticides.
“We are already looking closely at the potential negative environmental impacts of these chemicals but I feel that not nearly enough is being done to emphasise the effect they can have on our health.
“Clear guidance needs to be given so that pesticides are used and stored in the best way possible to avoid health and environmental problems.”
Mrs Willmott recently met with Georgina Downs of UK Pesticides Campaign to talk about health risks and non-chemical alternatives.
“For agricultural use this would include crop rotation, timed planting dates to avoid pests, pest barriers, insect traps and the introduction of natural enemies of the pest.”
The report not only showed risks for people spraying their houseplants. It revealed that while all agricultural workers exposed to pesticides had a slightly increased risk of developing brain tumours, those who reported the highest exposures had more than twice the risk.