The other day the Pest Control Man knocked on my door (new home in CA) to introduce himself and let me know he would be spraying every two weeks to control pests (i.e spiders, ants, termites, other bugs) from coming into our house (we are renting our home, the owners have a contract with this company). I asked him what he was spraying? “Tenguard.” When I mentioned we had kids and I was concerned that a chemical spray could be dangerous to them he said, “No, not at all. We do this all the time. I have kids, too, and we always spray.” Then he said, “maybe just keep them out of the dirt until it rains and it sinks in…..” (he must not have boys!)
I asked him for the literature on the product which he readily gave me (impressive he even had it in the truck.) I photocopied 6 pages worth of material on the 3 different products the company uses. The ingredient list looked something like this: fipronil, 5-amino-1(2,6-dichloro-4-(triflouromethyl)phenyl)-4((1,R.S)-triflouromethyl)sulfinyl-1H1pyrazole-3-carbonitrile.
Here is what I found:
Splashed across the top of the pages: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN
Then there is a box that lists what to do if swallowed, inhaled, on the skin, or in the eyes:
- Immediately call poison control,
- if unconscious move person to fresh air (note: spray is administered in the fresh air.),
- if person is not breathing call 911 and then give artificial respiration, preferably by mouth to mouth if possible (note: it really says this)
- rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15-20 MINUTES
This spray and/ or pellets are sprayed around the perimeter of the house. Maybe the rain comes and washes it away (right into our water supply). Maybe it doesn’t rain and it sits on the ground for quite some time.
So here we have a “legal” chemical being distributed by a company who believes in their product. They are actually allowed to promote this product and people pay for it!!!
Today, in the U.S. alone, there are 80,000 chemicals on the market. America’s system for regulating chemicals is not set up to protect our health. The chemical industry is able to block and / or delay public protections by insisting that proof of harm based on precise measurements of exposure and correlated risk must be established. (Environmental Action, Fall 2008).
Are they kidding? It is impossible to track the sicknesses, diseases, learning disabilities that stem from a specific chemical when our entire country is one big mass of chemicals.
FRIGHTENING: A recent study performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found 287 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies. This isn’t fair and it isn’t right. Yet, chemicals pervade until we step up and demand action. It is so important that we the consumers take charge of our own health and situation.
- ASK A LOT OF ?’s
- Don’t believe what a company says (do the research) (ex. au natural make-up companies, most are b.s.)
- Eliminate as many chemicals as possible within your home and life (i.e pesticides, cleaning sprays, make-up, plastic toys and junk, read blog for other ideas)
- Buy organic and green. It makes a difference. (Notice how much easier it is to find green cleaning supplies and how well they work. When the consumer demands, the supply follows).
- General rule of thumb–if you can’t pronounce the ingredients then best idea is to avoid product
- Environmental-action.org (ideas on going chemical-free)