In a short study a Swedish family who did not typically eat organic foods was monitored for 12 chemical pesticides that have recommended limits. The family of five people ate their typical non-organically grown food based diet for one week and then an organic food based diet for two weeks. Urine was monitored for the presence of the chemicals during the first and third weeks of the study. A video and news article about the study can be viewed here: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/what-happens-when-you-switch-to-only-organic-foods.
The children in particular were found to have a decrease in the presence of pesticides during the organic food phase of the study. The total quantities of individual pesticides was not above recommended limits but with multiple chemicals all being present it is unclear what levels of the total amount of pesticide exposure might truly be safe. The youngest child had the highest level of any of the tested pesticides, chlormequat chloride (CCC) was elevated. The research discussion suggests the child may have had more servings of grains in proportion to the rest of her diet compared to the rest of the family and CCC is used in grain crops.
The results of the survey clearly show that some pesticides are absorbed into the body through diet. By choosing organic products, it is possible by and large to avoid the consumption of these chemicals through food. Compared with the period when the family consumed conventionally grown food, the concentrations of pesticide residues decreased on average by a factor of 6.7 when the family ate organic food. The children in particular had lower concentrations during the period of organic food consumption. Levels of most, but not all tested pesticides fell in the adults. Read more: https://www.coop.se/Vart–ansvar/Ekoeffekten/The-Organic-Effect/Read-the-report-from-IVL/
During the organic phase of the study the family also was asked to switch to organic household cleaning products and to not wear or buy brand new clothes or household items. The family had already been using environmentally friendly personal hygiene products prior to the study:
Other household products such as personal hygiene products, detergents, and new textiles may have contained the antibacterial agent triclocarban. When triclocarban degrades in the body, the metabolite 3,5-dichloroaniline (3,5-DCA) is formed, which is also a degradation product of pesticides (see Table 1). Consequently, it was important to take this form of exposure into account during the weeks when the family was consuming organic food so as to facilitate the evaluation of this study. Consequently, detergents were changed during the organic weeks. The family was also asked not to wear newly purchased clothing, bedding, or towels during this period. The father of the family uses snus, which was replaced with organic snus during the organic weeks. The family was already using environmentally friendly personal hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner, and skin care products prior to the study.” Read more: https://www.coop.se/Vart–ansvar/Ekoeffekten/The-Organic-Effect/Read-the-report-from-IVL/
Chemicals are throughout our environment but this study suggests that it may indeed be worth the effort to switch to more organic/environmentally friendly products.
The revolution our country needs is one against pollutants in our homes and bodies and in the landscape. A pesticide with chloride would likely to adding to a child’s risk of hypothyroid problems and symptoms such as excess weight gain and depression later in life. Our country’s and other countries’ increased rates of obesity could be related to pesticides that promote hypothyroidism or other metabolic changes that promote insulin resistance and increased risk of diabetes. The sooner we learn more about the health consequences of having a mixture of multiple pesticides and toxins, the sooner we can stop adding them to our environment. Most things are easier to apply than to remove.
Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.