Pesticides - Biologically Persistent and Ubiquitous Toxins

by Nickolaos D. Skouras, PhD.

Introduction

This extract was written by Walter J. Crinnion,ND

Although the use of pesticides has doubled every ten years since 1945, pest damage to crops is more prevalent now than it was then. Many pests are now pesticide resistant due to the ubiquitous presence of pesticides in our environment. Chlorinated pesticide residues are present in the air, soil, and water, with a concomitant presence in humans. Organophosphate and carbamate pesticides-the compounds comprising the bulk of current pesticide use-are carried around the globe on air currents. Municipalities, schools, churches, business offices, apartment buildings, grocery stores, and homeowners use pesticides on a regular basis. Pesticides are neurotoxins that can cause acute symptoms as well as chronic effects from repeated low-dose exposure. These compounds can also adversely affect the immune system, causing cell-mediated immune deficiency, allergy, and autoimmune states. Certain cancers are also associated with pesticide exposure. Multiple endocrine effects, which can alter reproduction and stress-handling capacity, can also be found. Limited testing is available to assess the toxic overload of these compounds, including serum pesticide levels and immune system parameters. Treatment for acute or chronic effects of these toxins includes avoidance, supplementation, and possibly cleansing. (Altem Med Rev 2000;5(5)432-447)