Sun. Feb 23rd, 2020

the Torch

The student voice of Wichita High School South

The USDA Does not Care about America’s Health

3 min read

Pesticides are chemicals that are produced specifically to kill insects, fungi, rodents, and other pests. These chemicals are sprayed all over the crops that big farms grow, and the consumers of the crops ingest said chemicals. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tested thousands of crops in 2016, and roughly 85% of the crops were contaminated with chemical residue.

Man spraying fields with pesticides.

Nerve Damage– consuming conventional foods (non-organic food products) can expose people to harmful chemicals that can alter the body’s function. The effects of the pesticides on the nerves are short-term, but if too many chemicals are ingested, the damage can become long-term.  “Scientists have found that low-level exposure to organophosphates (OPs) produces lasting decrements in neurological and cognitive function. Memory and information processing speed are affected to a greater degree than other cognitive functions such as language” (Weston, 2012).  A new therapy has been discovered that can help treat neurological damage caused by chemicals.

Skin and Eye Damage– One of the most common forms of skin damage caused by pesticides is skin cancer. The pesticides can enter the body through your skin as well as ingestion and can harm your skin cells. “Workers who apply certain types of pesticides to farm fields are almost twice as likely to develop melanoma, a deadly form a skin cancer. Four of the pesticides are commonly used on crops like nuts, vegetables, and fruits. The researchers concluded that the study results showed that sun exposure isn’t the only possible cause of skin cancer and that pesticides may also increase risk.” (Annmarie Skin Care, 2013). Exposure of pesticides to the eye can result in the eye absorbing the chemicals.

Eye irritation caused by pesticides

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