The desire to protect a family, friends and pets from threat is a strong one. And protection against mosquitoes, ticks and the diseases they carry is no different; we want to make sure those we love are safe and happy.
But in the case of pest control, private companies, local governments and environmental departments may actually be doing us more harm than good. These institutions, along with most of the pest control industry, use chemical compounds like pyrethrin and permethrin to rid a home or neighborhood of mosquitos and ticks. These chemicals are frequently cited to be ‘approved’ by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but the reality is less clear. Not only are these chemicals potentially harmful to people but they’recertainly toxic to bees, fish, and cats, giving cats tremors and seizures.
In this article, we’ll inspect the use of pyrethrin and suggest that organic compounds free of harmful chemicals are a safer, healthier option for you and your family.
The Problem with Pyrethrins
Pyrethrins are extracts from the chrysanthemum flower. These extracts are specifically removed for their insecticidal properties to be used in homes, businesses and agricultural crops. While insects are usually very sensitive to the properties of pyrethrins, mammals, like human beings, should be better at dealing with the substances in them. Yet there there is still a common list of complaints after a person comes into contact with them, including dizziness, involuntary muscle contractions and problems breathing. And then there are the many complaints about the chemicals, with instances like the five sprayers from New York filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after they were made sick through working with the chemicals, or the 37 people that were hospitalized after a ball field was sprayed.
A Newsweek article says that pyrethrins are “endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which are known to interfere with or disrupt our natural hormonal cycles.” It seems strange then, that the Environmental Health Protection Agency would approve chemicals like this. But even with this is not exactly what it seems. The EPA’s safety protocols run to the logic of “the dose makes the poison”, meaning that with toxic chemicals there is a point at which the dose of a chemical is low enough (for example, if it is sprayed onto an open field) then it will not be harmful. But, as stated in the same Newsweek article, this may not be accurate. Bruce Blumberg of the University of California, Irving, says “The idea that there’s some threshold beneath which any given chemical is harmless is probably not true.”
The EPA also rarely looks at effects of the chemicals on fetus during gestation. This study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences concluded that: “Children of mothers who live near agricultural areas, or who are otherwise exposed to organophosphate, pyrethroid, or carbamate pesticides during gestation may be at increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.” Such disorders can include autism.
In a 2003 study, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disorder Registry found that: “Offspring of animals that ingested pyrethrins or pyrethroids while pregnant showed signs of possible damage to the immune system. Some animals that were exposed to pyrethrins or pyrethroids right after birth showed altered behavior as adults.”
Now that doesn’t sound like something that we should have near our homes.
Don’t be Fooled
Due to these chemicals being toxic, they are usually packaged in colors associated with nature; browns of the earth and greens of the field. They are frequently cited as being ‘water-based’ and are ‘derived from plant material’ to lessen the suspicions of a potential customer. But this marketing is misleading. Rather than honesty state the possible consequences of this chemical concoction, these pest control agencies attempt to bury the connection.
The Organic Alternative
Instead of risking the health of your loved ones try an organic alternative to chemical pesticides. Bite Control offers organic-certified applications that will safely rid your home of mosquitos, ticks and many other uninvited guests. Bite Control will not harm your children, pets or other wildlife. Rest easy knowing that the health of those you love will not be gambled.
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