Spring Is Sprung, The Toxins Is Riz

9 years ago

Like I don't already have ten gajillion things to worry about as a pregnant mother. Toxins in my daughter's toys and sippy cups. Toxins being blown around by garbage incineration. Toxic effects of the coffee and chocolate that I depend upon to get through the day without killing anyone. If it's in the air that I breath or the water that I breath or the addictions that I cling to, it's probably toxic.

And now it looks like if it's in my garden or the crisper in my refrigerator, it's probably toxic, too, enough to give my unborn baby leukemia or some other such horrifying cancer of the whatever.

We all already knew that pesticides were bad news, but recent reports are suggesting that it's worse - especially for pregnant women - than we thought:

Pregnant women exposed to household pesticides may increase the risk of their children developing leukemia, according to a recent study conducted in France. These findings add more weight to the idea that pesticides play a role in childhood blood cancers and may shed light on the actual causes of the diseases...

The use of household pesticides (which includes insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) by mothers during their pregnancies was higher in the leukemia group than the randomly chosen controls. More than half of the mothers whose children had acute leukemia or non Hodgkins lymphoma used pesticides at least once during their pregnancy compared with a little more than a third of the control group mothers.

So, used any kind of bug-killing product, inside or out of your home? Used anything in your garden? Consumed anything that might have been exposed to such products? DANGER.

I'm generally pretty careful when it comes to these things. We eat organic as much as we can around here, I try to avoid using chemical-laden anything in the home, and never use pesticidal products in the garden (they're not necessary - check this interview with Will Allen, author of The War on Bugs, for the deets, no pun intended) (also, gardening? HA. Here in Canada none of us have been able to see past the snow for MONTHS.) But I can't say for certain that I haven't been exposed to these things - visited someone's home where Raid had been sprayed, say, or rooted around in an antiques shop or old bookstore where moth-destruction efforts might have been made.

I'm going to have to try to not worry about what I have already been exposed to, and direct my energies toward minimizing my exposure in the future. One way of doing that: ensuring that any and all of my spring-cleaning efforts this year are completely green (so, nothing with words ending in 'cide' on the label. That, and making my own cleaning products from natural and benign materials like lemon and salt and vinegar.) (Mmm, salt and vinegar. Chips.) Another way of doing that: convincing everybody else to do the same thing.

Luckily, an organization called Women's Voices For The Environment is already on that for me: they're doing a massive promotion of the importance of green spring cleaning by pitching 'green spring cleaning' parties. Sign up and they'll send you a party kit and everything. Which, cool, no?
You can also sign their petition asking companies to remove toxic chemicals from household cleaning products.

Or, just toss the Clorox and pull out the lemons and have at it. Your house will smell awesome and you'll sleep a little easier knowing that your unborn children were exposed to that much less leukemia-causing toxicity today. And that's worth partying about. Or would be, if I weren't so freakin' pregnant.

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