Original artworks sharing my journey available at Art Lovers Australia

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Breast Cancer, Pesticides & Atrazine


This beautiful passion fruit flower is the product of an organic garden, or as organic I can make it in an environment where pesticides and herbicides are accepted weapons of what I call `guerrilla gardening'.

As someone who is now well and strong after three separate breast cancers I have very strong feelings on the indiscriminate use of toxic chemicals in our gardens and on our food.

Yes I do definitely feel exposure to these chemicals was a factor in my breast cancers.

When I read Sandra Steingraber's wonderful essay called Canadian Bylaws; American Lawn Flags I completely understood her frustration at America's pesticide use.

Canada sounds so informed with its legislation again pesticides.

Yes Canada has actually acted on its concern over the science linking childhood leukemia and breast cancer with pesticides.

In America you apparently have yellow flags to indicate when pesticide use in public areas has taken place.

In Australia you find out they have used pesticides when the weeds die.

Before my third breast cancer I had been taking what I thought were healthy daily walks along an attractive easement. I later discovered both sides of these were liberally sprayed with weedkiller.

The use of the chemical Atrazine is of special concern.

This is a chemical banned in Europe but widely used in the US. It is a proven endocrine disruptor linked to many cancers including breast cancer. In the US it's uses include sugar cane production, cornfields, backyard lawns and golf courses.

It also spreads widely from where it is originally used by being absorbed into raindrops, snowflakes, and fog.

As I said in the beginning of this post I am trying to create an organic garden, but with while toxic chemicals are available for all to use what guarantees do any of us have.


11 comments:

Jaz said...

Nice flower picture...

Thomas said...

Atrazine is commonly used to kill weeds on highway and railroad right-of-ways or swales. After atrazine is applied, it will remain in the soil for several days to several months.

Jackie said...

Interesting post.

Wish we could go organic everywhere as pesticides are worse than the insects/diseases they are meant to protect against. I still believe dairy is one of the main causes of breast cancer but that could be not only due to BST but also contamination of their food via pesticides as everything cows eat or get injected with sadly comes out in one way or another in milk.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely flower, the passion flower always looks so excessively flamboyant!

Organic is definitely best...

Greenearth said...

Thanks for mentioning the dairy issue Jackie. Dairy is something I don't have. I hadn't thought of the pesticide issue with milk as my decision not to have milk was made after reading Jane Plant's book `Your Life in Your Hands'.

MyMaracas said...

It is very difficult to avoid pesticides and other chemicals nowadays. It seems they are everywhere, whether we've personally used them or not.

eileeninmd said...

It would be wonderful to have more organically grown foods. We do not use chemicals in our yard because we are on a well and septic system.

Rambling Woods said...

I share your frustration that these dangerous pesticides are still used. Here in the state, the chemical companies donate money and lobby hard to keep using these awful things...Important post...Michelle

A piece of news said...

I am frustrated whenever people say they trust the government. When they say it is safe because the government has OK'd the use of something. Food, dairy, personal products...it is difficult to do more than eliminate a few things.

Thomas said...

When using Atrazine products, farmers in the United States are turning more to conservation tillage and no-till systems. In 2008, atrazine was applied to more than 60 percent of conservation tillage and no-till corn acres.

Thomas said...

Atrazine is used to stop pre- and post-emergence broadleaf and grassy weeds in major crops. Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide in conservation tillage systems, which are designed to prevent soil erosion. 76 million pounds of atrazine were applied in the United States in 2003.