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Detox from Harmful Pesticides

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Whenever you step outside your door, you are often exposed to the usage of pesticides from parks, pumpkin patches, hardware stores, golf courses, neighbors' yards, etc. Unfortunately, it is impossible to avoid them. Pick up produce from the grocery store, and you will find chemical and pesticide residues that doesn't easily wash off. Even "USDA organic" produce allows the usage of certain "approved" herbicides. Unfortunately it's hard to regulate and monitor what every farm does.

Where are pesticides specifically used?

Pesticides are commonly used in a variety of places, including:

  • Agriculture: Pesticides are used to protect crops from insects, weeds, and diseases.

  • Landscaping: Pesticides are used to control pests and weeds in residential and commercial landscapes, including parks, golf courses, and gardens.

  • Residential use: Pesticides are used to control pests in and around homes, including lawns, gardens, and indoor spaces.

  • Public spaces: Pesticides are used in public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, and schoolyards to control weeds and pests.

The USDA simply states, "Produce can be called organic if it’s certified to have grown on soil that had no prohibited substances applied for three years prior to harvest. Prohibited substances include most synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In instances when a grower has to use a synthetic substance to achieve a specific purpose, the substance must first be approved according to criteria that examine its effects on human health and the environment". The National List also allows certain processing aids, such as baking soda. This substance lightens (or leavens) the dough for organic pancakes, baked goods, and other products. Some substances like strychnine and arsenic are examples of natural toxic substances that are prohibited in organic production. See the entire list here.

To get a full understanding of what the USDA allows, read below:

Organic operations must comply with the USDA organic regulations when using substances (or ingredients). The National List portion of the USDA organic regulations outlines what nonorganic substances may be used in organic production and handling. It is organized according to three scopes: crop, livestock, and handling (processing). In general, the following principles apply:

  • In organic crop production, nonsynthetic (natural) substances are allowed unless specifically prohibited and synthetic substances are prohibited unless specifically allowed (§§ 205.601 - 205.602)

  • In organic livestock production, nonsynthetic (natural) substances are allowed unless specifically prohibited and synthetic substances are prohibited unless specifically allowed (§§ 205.603 - 205.604)

  • In organic handling production, nonagricultural synthetic, nonagricultural nonsynthetic (natural), and nonorganic agricultural substances are only allowed if included on the National List (§§ 205.605 - 205.606)

Pesticides are a class of chemicals used to control pests and insects that can harm crops and other plants. They are commonly used in agriculture, landscaping, and in other public spaces. While pesticides are effective in controlling pests, they also pose serious health risks to both humans and animals that come into contact the substances, particularly children.

Pesticide residues can remain on fruits and vegetables, which can lead to their ingestion by people every day. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of pesticides on food crops to ensure that they are safe for human consumption, research has shown that long-term exposure to pesticides can have negative health effects. Here are some ways in which pesticides are ingested by people every day from produce:

  • Residue on the produce: Pesticide residues can remain on the surface of fruits and vegetables even after they have been washed. This means that people who eat non-organic produce are ingesting small amounts of pesticides every day.

  • Absorption by the produce: Pesticides can be absorbed by the plant itself, meaning that they are present inside the produce. This can be especially true for produce with thin or porous skins, such as strawberries, spinach, and lettuce.

  • Consumption of meat and dairy products: Livestock may be fed with grains and feed that have been treated with pesticides. Pesticides can also be found in animal products such as milk and eggs, as they can accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals.

Harmful effects of pesticides on children's health

Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides than adults. Their developing organs and immune systems make them more vulnerable to toxic chemicals. Exposure to pesticides can have a range of adverse health effects, including:

  1. Neurological effects: Pesticides can interfere with the normal functioning of the nervous system, leading to neurological effects such as developmental delays, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems.

  2. Respiratory effects: Exposure to pesticides can lead to respiratory problems such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.

  3. Skin irritation: Pesticides can cause skin irritation, rash, and allergic reactions.

  4. Cancer: Some pesticides are known to be carcinogenic, which means they can cause cancer.

  5. Reproductive effects: Exposure to pesticides can cause reproductive problems, such as infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects.

How pesticide usage affects the environment

Pesticide usage has a significant impact on animals and their ecosystems. Pesticides are designed to target pests and weeds, but they can also harm non-target organisms, including wildlife, insects, and beneficial organisms. Here are some ways in which pesticide usage affects animals and the surrounding environment:

  • Harmful effects on wildlife: Pesticides can contaminate the food and water sources of wildlife, which can lead to harmful effects on their health. Wildlife may also be exposed to pesticides through inhalation or direct contact, which can lead to a variety of health problems, including reproductive issues and developmental abnormalities.

  • Impact on beneficial insects: Pesticides can also harm beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies, which play a critical role in pollination and maintaining healthy ecosystems. Pesticides can disrupt the natural balance of insect populations and contribute to the decline of pollinators.

  • Residual effects: Pesticide residues can persist in the environment long after they are applied. These residues can accumulate in the tissues of animals and biomagnify up the food chain, which can lead to greater exposure to higher-level predators.

  • Non-target organisms: Pesticides can also harm non-target organisms such as fish, amphibians, and birds. These organisms can be exposed to pesticides through contaminated water sources or through the ingestion of contaminated prey.

  • Habitat loss: The use of pesticides can also contribute to habitat loss and fragmentation, which can have negative impacts on animal populations. Pesticides can destroy the natural habitats of animals, reducing their food and shelter sources.

To reduce the harmful effects of pesticide usage on animals, it is important to use alternative methods of pest control, such as integrated pest management (IPM) techniques. IPM involves using a combination of cultural, mechanical, and biological control methods to manage pests while minimizing the use of pesticides. Some examples of IPM techniques include crop rotation, habitat manipulation, and the use of natural predators and beneficial insects. By taking steps to minimize the use of pesticides and prioritize sustainable and eco-friendly pest control methods, we can help protect animals and preserve healthy ecosystems.

How to avoid pesticides and detox your body

There are 8 steps you can take to avoid exposure to pesticides and detox your body from any pesticides you may have already been exposed to:

  1. Buy organic much as possible: Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Organic produce is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes an annual list of the "Dirty Dozen," which are the twelve fruits and vegetables that are most likely to have high levels of pesticide residues. Consider choosing organic options for these items if you cannot purchase organic for all produce.

  2. Wash your produce: Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating them. There are many different methods for soaking. Apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and Castile soap or other natural methods have shown to thoroughly clean produce and get rid of various viruses and pests.

  3. Peel produce when possible: Peeling fruits and vegetables can help reduce the ingestion of pesticides, but keep in mind that some of the nutrients may be lost when the skin is removed.

  4. Use natural pest control methods in and around your own home: Use natural pest control methods, such as companion planting and crop rotation, to control pests in your garden. Avoid using pesticides in your home and garden. Instead, use natural pest control methods such as insecticidal soap, neem oil, and diatomaceous earth.

  5. Wear shoes: Grounding and bare feet should only be allowed in your backyard where there is no usage of harmful chemicals. Wearing shoes outside at parks, golf courses, pumpkin patches, etc. is very important to create a barrier between you and those harmful chemicals.

  6. Don't forget to take your shoes off before you enter your home! Pesticides, along with other chemicals and viruses cling to shoes. Remind guests to remove shoes before entering.

  7. Detox with foods: There are several ways to detox your body from pesticides, including eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, drinking plenty of water, and exercising regularly. You can also try using natural detoxifiers such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and turmeric in the form of supplements or teas.

  8. Take regular detox baths: You can DIY your own recipe for a detox bath (see below) or you can purchase bath soaks from trusted brands like Rowe Casa Organics (nontoxicmamabear for 20% off) and Earthley.

DIY Detox Bath Recipe:

  • 1 cup baking soda

  • 1/2 cup diatomaceous earth

  • 1/4 cup bentonite clay

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 cup epsom salt (60lbs or less)

Pesticides can have serious health effects, particularly on children. To avoid these toxins, it is important to choose organic produce whenever possible, wash your produce thoroughly, use natural pest control methods, avoid using pesticides at home, and detox your body regularly. By taking these steps, you can reduce your exposure to pesticides and protect your health and the health of your family. What steps do you take to eliminate or decrease your exposure to pesticides? Drop some ideas in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you!

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Is this bath safe for all ages?

Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

This is determined by weight so go with a child that is 60lbs or less for this recipe. Always check with your medical provider and consider your child’s allergies, etc.


Do you put this entire recipe in one bath - or a portion of this?

Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

The entire recipe :)

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