By Dorothy Arroyo
House Bill is a bill that would stop pesticides from being used in areas
where children play. I am in support of this bill because of its hazard
preventative measures to ensures the health of children. Those who oppose
this bill think it's unnecessary and unwise because children are exposed to
pesticides in other settings and their risk to experience pest related harm
could be heightened. I want to highlight the hazard I believe pesticides hold
and how valuable it is to limit use around children.
Pesticides are a hazard in the sense that they are made to kill in a
short amount of time. Former Pediatric Doctor J. Routt makes the
comparison that both pesticides and HIV aim to kill t-cells. T-cells help
serve the immune system, and without their function leads to illness and
death. Of course, pesticides effectively eliminate pests. High dose-response
tests on rats show that pesticides kill rats. Though pesticides at low doses
can't kill humans, pesticide poisoning can still occur. What we have yet to
find out it is how low dose-response
over time affects humans.
Doctor Routt worked with children as his patients for over 30 years.
He saw and is familiar with what pesticide poisoning looks like.
Furthermore, he has seen what chronic pesticide poisoning has turned into.
Children who are exposed to pesticides early on experience asthmatic
symptoms, developmental delays, and immune system disorders. Keep in
mind children can be exposed to pesticides before they leave the womb.
Those who argue limitation of pesticides is unnecessary is putting children's
health at risk. Pesticides are poisonous and harmful, and the more we can
prevent exposure, the better for the long-term health hazards.
In the short-term regular pesticides decrease the presence of harmful
insects and rodent. This protects children from insect and rodent related
wounds and allergic reactions. However, there are safer options than
pesticides. Organic pest management practices are thought to be expensive,
but over time saves money for the community. Use of natural oils and
irrigation of dirt is as effective as poisonous pesticides and the latent
ingredient are not made specifically to attack immune systems and kill
House Bill 399 is a step towards avoiding causing harm to children.
The bill will not eliminate all risks and exposures to pesticides, however it
will lessen the direct exposures starting at a young age. There is not a
whole lot we know about pesticides and how they will affect us inn 30 years.
What I do know is it's unnecessary to poison children starting from a young
age, only to be the cause of permanently damaged and weakened immune
systems. I support House Bill 399 because it's a bill that will help prevent
future harm to humans. Pesticides may not be the number one harm to
humans, but there is no evidence that says it's helping human health.
Students and faculty from classes on Environmental Governance and Environmental Law at Keene State College are the authors of these posts. We also invite guest authors when appropriate.
NH Science for Citizens
Keene, NH 03431
A project of students and scientists in collaboration with local citizens and NH state representatives.