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.