by Gwendolyn Thayer
My position of the HB399 bill is to have it pass, because it is vital to
keep the public safe from pesticides. After attending the committee meeting
at the State House in Concord, New Hampshire, was an eye-opening and an
educational experience. Both negative and positive perspectives on the
HB399 bill was interesting. Both sides for the bill were passionate in their
perspectives on how the issue should be resolved.
My position on the bill was greatly influenced by Dr. J. Routt Regeart
that was at the Concord State House. He spoke passionately to have the bill
to be active because of the negative health effects that pesticides can cause.
He supported the bills proposal to have pesticides be removed from the
areas that children that are at play. He believed that pesticides should only
be executed when there is an absolute emergency. Otherwise, the area
should be free from having pesticides regularly applied. Dr. Regeart has
witnessed over his years as a Pediatrician for children, the health issues
that arise with exposure to pesticides. He states that children have weak
immune systems compared to adults. Pesticides are invented to kill.
Pesticides are used to kill insects by attacking the immune system.
Pesticides do not discriminate humans, especially not children. Dr. Regeart
also states that pesticides could alter the immune system and delay
development of a child. This can possibly lead to illnesses such as ADHD,
ADD, asthma, and cancers. He also stated that children can be exposed
indirectly to pesticides. For example, infants can be exposed to pesticides
through their mother’s breast milk (regardless if you are pregnant there are
possible traces of pesticides) specifically DET. Also, the consumption of
water and food. Pesticides can be water born and be on our foods that we
Prior to the committee meeting on HB399 in Concord, my views on
pesticides were unsure. I was unsure how pesticides affected human health.
After the committee meeting, I believe that chemicals being applied in
public spaces where children are at play is very concerning. The chemical
makeup of the pesticide is concerning to be around. The risks that are
associated with pesticides is a troubling-trade off for our own health.
Before, I was aware how the breakthrough of pesticides enhanced
production of food, eliminated pest concerns within an environment and
boosted ‘non-pest’ areas within a community. Regardless, it is frightening
how the chemicals are going to affect human’s years down the road.
However, we are willing to challenge the un-known harmful effect that
pesticides have on people, especially children. Some people believe the
benefits of pesticides outweigh the risks. But do the benefits of pesticides
outweigh a child’s life being at risk. My position on the HB399 bill is to stop
challenging the risks that pesticides have on 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.