THE BADDEST OF THEM ALL
BY Z. SCOTT
DO YOU EVER wonder how chemical pesticides affect our lives? They may do more damage than you think, with several potentially harmful effects on the environment, our cannabis and our own health.
Chemical pesticides are known to pollute the environment. While their intended effects are often short-lived, studies have shown that chemical pesticides linger in the atmosphere, the ground and in our waterways long after their job is over, creating a buildup of adverse pollution in our environment, which continues to grow with every application. This can lead to reduced pest control, contamination of surface water and groundwater and injury of non-target species, including humans.
EFFECTS ON SOIL AND CANNABIS
When farmers across the world began to rely on chemical pesticides, a drastic change in soil health followed. When the health of soil is compromised, your cannabis (an accumulator plant) is compromised as well. The United States government estimates that levels of trace minerals in fruit and vegetables fell by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991. This change is tied directly to the widespread increased exposure to pesticides. Chemical pesticides not only deplete the trace mineral content in our food and cannabis, they also contaminate both. While pesticides are designed to kill living organisms, they are certainly not meant to enter our bodies.
Pesticides have been linked to a myriad of diseases. The Pesticides Literature Review, which is based on studies conducted by a multi- university research team in Toronto, concludes, “people should reduce their exposure to pesticides because of links to serious illnesses. Results of this study found consistent evidence of serious health risks such as cancer, nervous system diseases and reproductive problems in people exposed to pesticides…through home and garden exposure.”
Similar research has linked exposure to pesticides to increased presence of neurological disorders, Parkinson’s disease, childhood leukemia, lymphoma, asthma and more. Progressing to organic repellents is a logical step to potentially help reduce the chances of disease or disease acceleration. You too can choose to enjoy a pest-free cannabis garden without using these potentially harmful chemicals:
Avermectin is an insecticide found in Lucid and Avid pesticide brands. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) lists Avermectin as a “Bad Actor,” while Avid labels claim that it’s harmful if inhaled.” When given doses that were also toxic to the mothers, Abamectin produced cleft palate in the offspring of treated mice and rabbits, showing that its effects are not healthy.
This insecticide for ornamental and landscape plants is found in the TetraSan 5 WDG pesticide brand, and is not intended for being inhaled. A study exposed rats to a hefty amount of Etoxazole, and discovered that the livers of all of the subjects were enlarged. Although it’s not the most dangerous on the list, Etoxazole has no business being in anyone’s lungs.
Myclobutanil is an active ingredient in the Eagle 20 pesticide brand, which prevents brown patch and dollar spot in established turf, ornamental plants, and certain fruits. This fungicide is considered “slightly hazardous” by the World Health Organization, due to its potential for nervous system problems and toxic fumes.
Exposure to Myclobutanil can result in symptoms like allergic dermatitis, vomiting, itchiness, nausea, headache, skin rash, nosebleed, and eye irritation. A two-generation study on rats found that Myclobutanil decreased pup weight gain, and increased incidence of stillborn.
The World Health Organization (WHO) refers to Imidacloprid as a moderately hazardous insecticide. According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), this ingredient in Confidor and Gaucho pesticide brands is moderately toxic if ingested or inhaled, but because of the way it binds to cells, it’s much more harmful to insects than it is to mammals.
The signs and symptoms from Imidacloprid poisoning are similar to nicotinic poisoning, which include fatigue, cramps, muscle weakness, and twitching.
Bifenazate is a miticide found in the Floramite pesticide brand that helps control a handful of pests on ornamental plants, greenhouse tomatoes, and non-bearing fruit trees. Scientists found that over a 21 dermal study in rats, Bifenazate triggered a decrease in body weights and urinary volume, and caused extramedullary hematopoiesis in the spleen. While there haven’t been any tests on humans, it’s safe to assume that this miticide would cause more harm than good.