Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador is the founder of MCS America, a science writer, and a social advocate for the greater awareness of environmental contamination, human toxicology, and propagation of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults.
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Pesticides Cause Toxic Effects Generations Later
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by Lourdes Salvador
The pesticide mixture of permethrin and DEET has been shown to cause a significant increase of disease in the off spring of exposed parent rats’ as many as three generations later.
Parental pesticide exposure was found to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease and associated DNA methylation epimutations in sperm. Total diseases were significantly increased in future generations of exposed rats, while 3rd generation rats experienced abnormal puberty and diseases of the testicles and ovaries, including 363 DNA methylation epimutations.
Permethrin is a pyrethroid class of pesticides which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is “registered for use on/in numerous food/ feed crops, livestock and livestock housing, modes of transportation, structures, buildings (including food handling establishments), Public Health Mosquito abatement programs, and numerous residential use sites including use in outdoor and indoor spaces, pets, and clothing (impregnated and ready to use formulations).”
According to EPA data, “approximately 2 million pounds of permethrin are applied annually to agricultural, residential and public health uses sites. The majority of permethrin, over 70%, is used in non-agricultural settings; 55% is applied by professionals, 41% is applied by homeowners on residential areas, and 4% is applied on mosquito abatement areas.”
Though permethrin alters nerve function, the EPA says they are not currently following a cumulative risk approach for any of the pyrethroids.
DEET is the active ingredient in most insect repellent products designed to repel mosquitoes and ticks and made available to the public in a variety of liquids, lotions, sprays, and impregnated materials. “Based on extensive toxicity testing, the Agency believes that the normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general population.”
Yet DEET and permethrin appear to act synergistically to create negative health effects generations later.
As with all toxic substances, it is prudent to practice avoidance whenever possible. Proper protective clothing and natural alternatives are usually a better option than chemical pesticides. However, beware of natural products often touted as botanical. One such product is orange oil. When orange is concentrated into orange oil, it creates a substance called d-limonene. While d-limonene is derived from botanical sources, it is a toxic substance and registered pesticide.
Mohan Manikkam, Rebecca Tracey, Carlos Guerrero-Bosagna, & Michael K. Skinner. Pesticide and Insect Repellent Mixture (Permethrin and DEET) Induces Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Disease and Sperm Epimutations. Reproductive Toxicology. Available online 10 September 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2012.08.010
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2012 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America