How Much Pesticide Exposure Does the General Population Face?
A number of American Action Groups Such as the Pesticide Action Network have brought to our attention some astounding information on American Pesticide use. Working on the Canadian side of the Border, I can assure you we are not much better! Here we go:
Each year, an estimated 1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to American farms, forests, lawns and golf courses. More than 17,000 pesticide products are currently on the US market.
*Notice Washington State Usage: This rate is large due to the large number of crops grown there, mostly apples where it is the largest North American State or Provincial provider.
Pesticide applicators, farmers and farm workers, and communities near farms are often most at risk, but studies by the Centers for Disease Control show that all of us carry pesticides in our bodies. Golf courses use pesticides heavily, so do some schools and parks. Consumers also face pesticide exposure through food and water residues. For instance, atrazine is found in 94% of U.S. drinking water tested by the USDA.
Something we stand behind is Agroecology. It is the science behind sustainable farming and this powerful approach combines scientific inquiry with place-based knowledge and experimentation, emphasizing approaches that are knowledge-intensive, low cost, ecologically sound and practical. What can we call structural pest control, an industry that per capita (see below) was amongst the highest pesticide (insecticide) polluting industries ever? Strucpestology. Something we practice everyday and you heard it here first!
Home use of pesticides — which on a per acre basis outpaces use on farms by a ratio of 10 to 1 — puts families across the North America at unnecessary risk.
Much of this information is courtesy the PAN (Pesticide Action Network) and EPA (Environmentally Protection Agency) in the USA and is based on Agriculture being roughly 95% of the market and Structural is 5%.