Toxic synthetic pesticides applied inside your home or outside your home and on the structure produce gaseous emissions. Winter months create a bigger problem as the pesticide gases become more abundant due to heat inside your home, heated air and surfaces, and long periods with closed windows and doors. Pesticides produce gases all year round as they decay. However, when in confined spaces with pesticide gases, the potential health risks increase as we factually reference later in this report.
In a process called volatilization, liquid, solid, gel or powdered pesticides may change form based on environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and/or aging of the ingredients. Volatilization happens around us all the time. Decaying matter in your compost pile produces methane gas due to microbial activity; boiling water on your stove produces steam, and pesticides volatize due to probable attachment to molecules of other substances such as wood, paints, varnish finishes, temperature, humidity, and carpet fiber degradation, or due to breakdown and/or molecular separation from a decaying active ingredient with a short half life.
In the current body of research codified by the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network sponsored by Oregon State University and the EPA, only the active ingredient warranted merit. The results were inconclusive in the absence of the synergists and inert ingredients. As we have copiously discussed throughout this website, the active ingredient is potentially the least harmful of the ingredients in toxic pesticides. Although active ingredients such as Bifenthrin are suspected carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, it is the suspected combination of Bifenthrin and arsenic or other toxic compounds that produce the most toxic gas.
The respiratory tract is the first organ to come in contact with pesticide fumes. The respiratory system is important in distributing inhaled pesticides because toxic gases that enter the lungs can be readily absorbed by the blood and distributed throughout the entire body. Pesticide gases may exert system toxicity (multiple organ toxicity) or be toxic to a specific organ. The health status of an individual affects the response to inhaled pesticides.
How Serious is the pesticide gas and indoor home air quality problem?
Over 75% of homes in the U.S. that were built prior to March 1988 are contaminated by chlordane insecticide gases. The gas levels in up to 7% of these homes is considered "High" according to Wayne Sinclair, M.D. Chlordane is a powerful synthetic insecticide and known carcinogen banned by the EPA in 1988 after 40 years of indiscriminate use on crops, buildings, and homes. According to a U.S. Air Force study, chlordane is linked to many health problems after short and long-term exposure.
Chlordane use was so widespread and uncontrolled by authorities, that no regulatory body considered the damaging health effects of chlordane nor allocated research money to biologists concerned about its dangers (Silent Spring 1962). Thus, for 40 years, chlordane was used as a termiticide and insecticide inside homes, schools, and business without even a shred of research into its toxicological effects on humans and the environment.
Doctors and scientists who are knowledgeable on the chlordane problem state millions of adults and children are becoming sick by living in homes built before April, 1988 (the period when chlordane, originally developed by Monsanto, was allowed to be used). Chlordane contaminates the air of over 30 million U.S. homes by diffusion through concrete flooring - ceiling drywall - or outgassing from previously treated indoor areas. Documented health problems can include child cancers, neuroblastoma, leukemia, chronic infections, bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, infertility, neurological disorders, aggression and depression.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of obvious odor or easily administered test, most occupants are unaware this pesticide is in the indoor air they are breathing hour after hour.
In the case of arsenic, a poison used to commit murder and suicide for centuries, often referred to as the "King of Poisons," is also a so-called trade-secret ingredient in many synthetic pesticides and becomes arsine gas when it volatizes. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen more deadly than the active ingredient Bifenthrin in the same pesticide. Arsine gas poisoning results in a considerably different syndrome from that caused by other forms of arsenic. After inhalation, arsine rapidly binds to red blood cells, producing irreversible cell membrane damage. At low levels, arsine is a potent hemolysin, causing dose-dependent intravascular hemolysis or red blood cell reduction. Hemolysis could be consistent with chronic exposure to arsine gas. At high levels, arsine produces direct multisystem cytotoxicity destroying cells in much the same manner as snake venom or the venom from the Brown Recluse spider destroys cells or turns the cells necrotic.
When subjected to certain chemical reactions, solid arsenic compounds can be turned into toxic gas (notable trimethyl and dimethyl arsine). This was used to deadly affect during World War I in the form of gas warfare.
The combined effects of arsine gas, volatizing pyrethroids, and volatizing inorganic compounds of known toxicity are unknown in the gaseous quantities that may be present in your home. The constituent parts are known carcinogens or nerve and cell toxins of little equal; volatilization is inevitable, especially during winter months when all windows and doors remain closed for longer periods and heat is applied to the air and surfaces inside your home.
Your amount of exposure to pesticide gases include factors such as the amount of pesticide applied, the chemical composition of the pesticides, the frequency of application, and environmental factors. Thus, repeated applications of toxic synthetic pesticides by your existing pest control company increases the amount of pesticide gases inside your home according to all of the research.
The amount of pesticide gas you intake at a given moment depends largely on your activities such as sleeping, walking, and/or physical exertion.
Research indicates that U.S. residents spend the majority of their day indoors, up to 90%, with the average between 60-90%, their exposure to pesticide gas increases with longer durations in doors.
Inasmuch as it may be impossible to remove all toxic residue from your property, we remove as much residue as possible by decontaminating assessable areas that usually receive applications of toxic poisons. This article represents neither medical nor legal advice.
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