Ninety percent of Americans are exposed to this CANCER-causing toxin?

Protect yourself from this environmental threat in six simple ways

I enjoy every moment of the summer season. And I try to fill it with trips to the beach, gardening, shopping at my local farmer’s market, and simply basking in the sun.

But there’s a hidden danger beneath the surface of all that summer fun… one that impacts the health of a whopping 90 percent of Americans.

Plus, it grows more threatening each year. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it can cause eye and skin problems, neurological diseases, hormonal disruptions, and CANCER!1

Yet, despite the known danger, the EPA does very little to protect you from this looming environmental threat. A threat that infiltrates backyards, public parks, golf courses, and even the fresh fruits and veggies you enjoy all summer-long.

So, it’s up to you and me to protect ourselves and limit our exposure as best we can. Fortunately, I have six simple ways to help you do just that.

Poison in your pansies

I’m taking about synthetic pesticides. Each year, Americans dump about one billion pounds of them into the soil and air to control weeds, insects, rodents, and other pests.2,3

Personal use typically involves spraying store-bought pesticides—such as insect sprays, weed killers, and ant bait—around your home and garden. Generally, these make up a smaller portion of the total pesticide use in the U.S.

The bulk of the pesticide use comes from commercial sectors. And farmers are among the biggest offenders—with more than 900,000 farms nationwide spreading these toxins on acres and acres of crops that we ultimately eat or feed to livestock.

All these commercial pesticides also infiltrate our water supply…

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 50 million Americans obtain their drinking water from groundwater that is potentially contaminated with pesticides and agricultural chemicals.4

So, even if you don’t use pesticides around your home, unless you take some key steps to protect yourself (which I’ll tell you about in a moment), this health threat is far more serious and widespread than you may realize…

In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has detectable concentrations of pesticide biomarkers in their urine or blood.

And they say diet, especially intake of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, is a “major exposure pathway” for the general population.5

This is a real concern, as short-term exposure to pesticides can lead to immediate skin and eye irritation. And long-term exposure can lead to far more serious health problems, including:6

  • Birth defects
  • Blood disorders
  • Cancer
  • Endocrine disruption
  • Genetic changes
  • Nerve disorders
  • Reproduction problems

New and old offenders

Some pesticides are well-known to the American public and easy to avoid. For example, most people know about the dangers of glyphosate. It’s the chemical used in the weed killer, Roundup.

But few people know about paraquat—another weed killer sold in the U.S. under a dozen brand names, including Gramoxone.7,8 

Manufactured by a Chinese-owned agrochemical company, paraquat may be 28 times more poisonous to humans than glyphosate.

Ironically, China outlawed the use of paraquat… as did the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and a dozen other countries.9

But here in the U.S., we still use it widely as a weed killer. Even though its detrimental effects on human health are real, with some research suggesting it even causes Parkinson’s disease.

Despite all the damning evidence, the EPA refuses to outlaw this toxin. Rather, they recently RENEWED paraquat’s registration in the U.S. indefinitely! (Doesn’t that make your blood boil!?)

So, as I said, it’s time to take matters into our own hands if we want protection against these commonly used environmental threats…

Make some easy changes

Even though nearly all Americans have traces of pesticides in their blood and urine, there are steps you can take, starting today, to reduce your exposure. Here are my top six:

  1. Go pesticide- and herbicide-free. First and foremost, to cut down on your exposure to pesticides and herbicides, make sure to avoid using them in and around your home and lawn. Not only will your pets thank you… you’ll enjoy walking barefoot in the grass without worrying if you’re tromping through something that will give you Parkinson’s disease or cancer. Not to mention you’ll avoid adding more toxins to the environment and polluting the water supply!
  2. Go organic. As I just mentioned, the NIH says eating contaminated produce is a “major pathway” for pesticide exposure here in the U.S. And that makes sense, as 75 percent of all conventional produce in this country tests positive for pesticides!10

So, opt for organic produce whenever possible. By law, certified organic produce must be grown in soil that hasn’t had any prohibited pesticide or fertilizer applied to it in the three years prior to harvest.

Of course, even with the increasing availability of organic produce around the country, sometimes you just can’t find everything you need. So, make sure to refer to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) “Dirty Dozen” list of the most-contaminated fruits and vegetables for some guidance about the conventionally grown produce you should ALWAYS avoid.

The EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list for 2024 includes: Strawberries; spinach; kale and collard/mustard greens; grapes; peaches; pears; nectarines; apples; bell and hot peppers; cherries; blueberries; and green beans.

  1. Naturally bug-proof your yard. You don’t have to resort to using commercial pesticides to get rid of bugs in your yard. Cut down on the bugs creeping around by draining off or drying out any standing water, which attracts mosquitoes and other pests. You can also make use of plants that naturally repel weeds and pests—including basil, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, and marigolds.
  2. Consider hosting other wildlife. Did you know that birds, reptiles, turtles, and dragon files eat mosquitoes and other bugs in your yard? Well, they do! Consider making your yard a haven for these natural bug killers. You can even build or buy a bat box shelter, as just one bat eats 6,000 to 8,000 mosquitoes each night.
  3. Filter your drinking water. Remember, a staggering number of Americans get their drinking water from groundwater that’s potentially contaminated with pesticides. Eliminate your risk by filtering your water to keep out as many chemicals and other toxins as you can.

Get the best filter you can afford, whether it’s a filtration system for your entire home, a faucet filtration system, or a refillable water pitcher. You can also opt to drink natural spring water bottled in glass. My favorite is S. Pellegrino Sparking Natural Mineral Water. Whatever you choose, just don’t expect your regular tap water to be pesticide-free—it likely isn’t!

  1. Call your senator or representative. You and I both know plenty of folks who won’t take the necessary steps to protect themselves against these environmental threats. That’s why I encourage you to demand action from our government and urge them to reduce the presence of these deadly toxins in all of our communities. Because, unless we hold our elected officials accountable, these threats will almost certainly remain.

In the end, we can’t count on the EPA to protect us from harmful pesticides in our environment. It’s up to you and me. So, use these six recommendations as a guideline to keep your food, water, and lawn safe this summer.

No such thing as a “SAFE” pesticide

Don’t fall for the slick marketing campaigns that claim their weed killer is safe for pets and children. There’s no such thing as a “safe” pesticide.

As always, I encourage you to take advantage of the EWG’s website to better understand the safety profile of products before you buy them. Because there are far too many chemicals to even attempt creating a comprehensive list.

That said, here are some active ingredients you definitely want to avoid:

  • Glyphosate • Paraquat
  • Atrazine • Methomyl
  • Rotenone • Flupyradifurone
  • Hexachlorobenzene • Pirimicarb
  • Imidacloprid • Tebuconazole
  • Epoxiconazole • Isoproturon
  • 1,3-dichloropropene