Philip Landrigan, MD: We use an awful lot of pesticides in this country.We use pesticides on lawns and gardens to controls weeds, to control insects, and we use pesticides in homes to control cockroaches, to control rodents, to control other vermin.And the problem is that too often those pesticides are applied on the floor, in the corners, under the sink, just precisely in the areas where little kids play.So the advice I give to parents about pesticide is minimize use.
Philip Landrigan, MD (cont.): People have to understand that pesticides are inherently toxic,no matter what the pest applicator tells you, no matter what assurance of safety he or she may give you, pesticides chemicals are inherently toxic,and therefore it make sense to minimize their use if you have little babies, pregnant woman, small children in the home.
Philip Landrigan, MD (cont.): One more way that families can reduce their children's exposure to pesticides is to eat organic food.Very good studies done at the University of Washington and Seattle, at the Centers for Disease Control,the CDC in Atlanta have shown that families who eat mostly organic food have 90% less pesticides in their bodies than families that eat conventional food.These studies have shown that the transition from high levels of pesticides in the body to low levels takes place within a week.If a family switches toward an organic diet, within a week they've washed most of the pesticides out of their body. So that's a very important practical tip that parents can take home.