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9 CRAZY THINGS
PESTICIDES ARE DOING
TO YOUR BODY

Pesticides are designed to kill. Whether it's nerve gas–like neurological disruption, the unbalancing of key hormones, or the stunting of a plant's ability to absorb life-sustaining trace minerals from the soil, none of the chemical interventions seems all that appetizing, especially considering that chemical residues routinely wind up on and even inside of the food we eat everyday. Pesticides are also blamed for diminishing mineral levels in foods.

Additionally, here are 9 crazy things pesticides are doing to your body:

Food Allergies. In one of the strangest links to pesticides to date, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City found an association between food allergies and the levels of a pesticide breakdown product in urine. Memory Loss. Another review from University College London recently concluded that low levels of pesticides, such as those considered safe for farm workers who are exposed on a daily basis, cause significant damage to cognitive function—your memory, the speed at which you process information, and your ability to plan for the long term.

Diabetes. Scientists have been noticing a link between pesticides and diabetes for years. The latest evidence comes out of the Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting, where Robert Sargis, MD, PhD, released the results of a study that suggest tolyfluanid, a fungicide used on farm crops, creates insulin resistance in fat cells.

Cancer. More than 260 studies link pesticides to various cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, and brain, breast, prostate, bone, bladder, thyroid, colon, liver, and lung cancers, among others.

Autism & Other Developmental Diseases. Many insecticides effectively kill bugs by throwing off normal neurological functioning. That same thing appears to be happening in some children. A 2010 Harvard study found that children with organophosphate pesticide breakdown materials in their urine were far more likely to live with ADHD than kids without the trace pesticide residues.

Obesity. Some agrochemical pesticides act as hormone disruptors, meaning they act like a fake version of a naturally occurring hormone in your body, they block important hormone communication pathways in the body, or they interfere with your body's ability to regulate the healthy release of hormones. More than 50 pesticides are classified as hormone disruptors, and some of them promote metabolic syndrome and obesity as they accumulate in your cells, according to 2012 study appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Parkinson's Disease. More than 60 studies show a connection between pesticides and the neurological disease Parkinson's, a condition characterized by uncontrolled trembling. The association is strongest for weed- and bug-killing chemical exposures over a long period of time.

Infertility. Pesticides spell trouble in the baby-making department, thanks to their bad habit of not staying put. For instance, atrazine, a common chemical weed killer used heavily in the Midwest, and on golf courses, has been detected in tap water. Doctors and scientists point to published evidence tying atrazine to increased miscarriage and infertility rates. Other pesticides cause a plunge in male testosterone levels.

Birth Defects. Babies conceived during the spring and summer months—a time of year when pesticide use is in full swing—face the highest risk of birth defects. During these months, higher pesticide levels turn up in surface waters, increasing a mother's risk of exposure. Spina bifida, cleft lip, clubfoot, and Down syndrome rates are higher when moms become pregnant during high season for pesticides.

Bottom Line: Buy Organic - especially for the Dirty Dozen and whatever items your family consumes the most on a weekly basis. Limit cleaners to non-toxic cleaners and switch to natural methods of pest control in your own home.

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