2015-04-17 / Letters

Pesticides harmful to children

To the editor:

The World Health Organization has recently stated that pesticides may contribute to the development of cancer in humans. We have suspected that pesticides are not good for us, but it is disturbing to read how adding pesticides to the cocktail of chemicals that we are already exposed to is especially harmful to children. A child’s metabolism is different from an adult’s. Toxins remain longer in a child’s body and are therefore more capable of doing damage. The nervous system and organs are developing during childhood and are more deeply affected by exposure. Even small amounts of pesticides can affect the brain as it matures. Exposure for adults can increase the development of cancerous tumors and diminish the body’s ability to fight tumor growth. Glyphosate, a key ingredient in Roundup, may make the body more vulnerable to autism, gastrointestinal disorders, infertility and Alzheimer’s.

When we use herbicides such as Roundup on our lawns, patios and sidewalks, we are adding toxins to the areas where children play. Those toxins can be tracked into our homes by us and our pets and leave residues on couches and rugs where infants play and are likely to have hand to mouth transmission.

With all these reports proving the harmful effects of pesticides, the time has come for us all to terminate our dependence on these chemicals. We should also encourage our city officials to stop spraying weed killers on our sidewalks and in our parks where our families play, picnic and engage in sports.

If you want the city to stop spraying the sidewalk in front of your house, you can call South Portland Parks and Recreation. Contact Doug Howard at 767-7635.

Abby Huntoon
South Portland

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