Letter: Consider detrimental effects of pesticides

To the Editors:

I am writing this letter because I am worried that people in Wilton do not know enough about the chemicals they are regularly exposed to that can harm them. These chemicals can affect your nervous system, cause memory loss, loss of coordination, and are linked to cancer. I am talking about pesticides.

The most common way to be exposed to pesticides is by eating fruit you buy from the store. Even after you wash the fruit, some pesticides still remain. These pesticides are called systemic pesticides or pesticides that are sprayed on the roots of the plant and get distributed throughout the inside of the plant. One of the most common pesticides on fruit is carbaryl. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies carbaryl as “likely to be carcinogenic [cancer-causing] in humans.”

When pesticides get sprayed on your lawn, the company that sprays puts a little sign on your lawn. The yellow sign has a picture of a child and a dog in a circle with a line through it meaning it is dangerous for them to go on the lawn until three days later. The National Academy of Sciences estimates 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs during the first five years of life. Pesticides can get into your well water; get tracked all over your house, and into the local water system.

Pesticides don’t just affect humans — if your dog plays on recently sprayed grass, they can get pesticides on their fur and dogs lick their fur so they are technically eating pesticides off their body. Skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, eye irritations, and a higher chance of bladder cancer are just some health problems pesticides can cause for your canine friends. Pesticides are killing bees, which is a huge problem because they are the biggest pollinators. Without bees, our food source will be negatively impacted. There are many different ways pesticides can harm people and animals, so do you really want to spray that on your lawn? Consider stopping spraying pesticides, so Wilton can become even better! It can only happen if we work together and commit as a community.

For more information, check out http://pesticidefreezone.org, www.whatsonmyfood.org or download the app “what’s on my food?”

Caroline Hess

Seventh Grader at Middlebrook Middle School

Wilton, Nov. 11