Round-up, which is made with the toxic pesticide, glyphosate, has been in the news a lot lately. Monsanto, the maker of Round-up, was ordered to pay $289 million to a groundskeeper who got terminal cancer after years of using the product. The news has also been reporting on how the EPA is currently considering whether to reapprove glyphosate for another 15 years. At the same time, many states are banning the use in their communities. It was also in the news because a recent study from The Center for Environmental Health found glyphosate was in 90% of families tested and children had significantly higher levels than their parents. (1) That should make you want to reduce your child’s exposure to glyphosate!
According to The Center for Environmental Health, glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in history and “over 2.4 billion pounds have been sprayed on American farmland in the past decade.” This toxic chemical is not only used on our foods, but is often used at homes, schools, and parks. Children may have higher levels because of the types of foods they eat like cereals, which are made with GMO foods, time spent outside, and because of the way they metabolize these toxins.
The use of glyphosate comes with a lot of risks. Some of which we don’t even know about yet. Very few studies have looked at what chronic exposure to pesticides like glyphosate can do. The current generation of children is being used as a giant science experiment because we don’t know the full extent of the damage the exposure to glyphosate will cause.
The Harm of Exposure to Glyphosate
We do know that children are more at-risk because their bodies are developing and because of how they metabolize toxins. What are the risks? Glyphosate has been linked to increased risk of cancer, hormone disruption, nervous system toxicity, birth defects and antibiotic resistance. (2) Why antibiotic resistance? Glyphosate is a pesticide, or basically an antibiotic for weeds. This does a number on your gut because it messes with your microbiome and destroys your good gut bacteria. These are just to name a few great reasons to reduce your child’s exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides which have been shown to be harmful.
The study from the Center for Environmental Health looked at 12 parent-child pairs from different areas across the United States. Of those that had glyphosate in their system nine of the children had higher levels than their parents. Six children had twice as much, and one had 100x as much glyphosate. (1) Let me say that again… 100 times more pesticide in the child than in the parent.
This is not the first study to show that children have higher levels of pesticides than adults. A study in Denmark found that higher concentrations of glyphosate in the urine of children than their mothers. A study in Germany also found the same results. (3) Makes you wonder, does your child have higher levels of pesticide than you? And how can you reduce your child’s exposure to glyphosate?
Reduce Your Child’s Exposure to Glyphosate and Other Pesticides
Avoid GMO Crops and Foods
Certain crops have been genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. That means they can be sprayed heavily with pesticides that will kill weeds, but not the plant. So, GMO crops that are herbicide resistant like corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, and cotton are heavily sprayed. One study found that since these crops were introduced that the number of people who had detectable levels of glyphosate in their system went up by 500%. (4) Avoid these foods! Notice that corn, soybeans and canola are all foods you will often find in processed foods. If you haven’t already given up processed foods, here’s another reason to toss them. You can find some great food upgrades in our article.
Choose Organic when Kids are at Home and at School
Glyphosate has been found on many of the foods we eat, and other pesticides can be just as harmful, so it makes going organic an easy choice. Reproductive problems, development concerns, dementia, immune issues, and endocrine disorders have all been linked to pesticide use. (1) Pesticides have been found on nearly 70% of all produce, but that doesn’t mean skip the veggies! (2) Whole fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet so make sure organic ones are a part of your child’s diet! Start with the Dirty Dozen which have been found by the EWG to be contaminated with the most pesticides. Even when you stock the cupboard full of organic foods you have to remember the other places your child eats like school. Make sure your child has healthy, organic options for their school lunch.
Do Not Use Round-up and Other Pesticides on Your Lawn
A cleaner environment starts in your backyard, literally! Whatever you spray on your lawn will be there when your children roll in the grass. It will get on their bodies; their clothes and they will breathe it in. Find more natural ways to control pests and weeds. If you have dandelions don’t get mad! Dandelions have so many benefits! Watch my video below!
Use a Quality Water Filter
The chemicals used on our lawns, and on the fields, wash into our rivers and lakes which end up in our water supply. You need a good water filter. I’m not talking about your Brita. That doesn’t filter out the chemicals you really want to get rid of. Find a high-quality water filter and make sure it removes chemicals like glyphosate. A whole-house system is great if you can afford it and a Berkey water filter is another great choice.
Leave Your Shoes at the Door
Not everyone will stop using pesticides and it will take time to change their minds. When you and your family are out in the world you will walk through areas that have been contaminated with pesticides. Don’t let those chemicals hijack their way into your house. Leave them at the door by making a rule that all shoes come off at the door.
Advocate for Clean Public Spaces and Organic Options
Kids don’t just play at home. They play outside in parks, at schools, and at camps. There are so many benefits to playing outside and getting vitamin D. Your kids and their friends deserve to play in areas that aren’t sprayed with harmful chemicals. Encourage your local schools and kids’ programming centers to offer organic options for lunches and snacks. Advocate for cleaner spaces and educate others on the harms of glyphosate and other pesticides.
Reduce Your Child’s Exposure to Glyphosate (and Your Own Too)!
It is alarming that our children may have higher levels of pesticides than we do. These toxic chemicals are harmful to all of us, and especially children. There are steps that we can take to reduce the glyphosate in our environment. Use this information to reduce your child’s exposure to glyphosate (and your own too)!
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn
To Learn About the Benefits of Dandelions Watch Dr. Patrick Flynn’s Video: