Purity Matters: Testing for 779 Pesticides
Redd Remedies tests every ingredient and product for 779 different pesticides – including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, their metabolites and many other pesticide compounds – through our 955 testing program.
With over 1 billion pounds of these products applied each year in the USA, and over 7.7 billion pounds worldwide, we feel the need to be diligent and vigilant in ensuring that the products we sell to improve your health do not contain harmful contaminants.
In this blog, we will briefly cover a handful of pesticide groups included in our 955 testing program. The groups included in this blog contain some of the most widely available and commonly used pesticides. In addition to the following groups, our 955 testing program includes more than 50 other groups of pesticides.
Pyrethrins + Pyrethroids
Pyrethrum is a natural mix of chemicals found in chrysanthemum flowers, including 6 known as pyrethrins that have insecticidal properties. Pyrethrins are used in pet flea control and household insecticide products.
Pyrethroids are man-made and are more toxic to insects and to mammals. Some are used in lice and scabies treatment products.
Human exposure is mainly through residue left on leaves, fruits and vegetables after these pesticides are sprayed on crops. Exposure to large amounts can be toxic.
Developed in the 1990s and derived from nicotine, these pesticides bind to receptors in the central nervous system, causing overstimulation of nerve cells that leads to paralysis and death.
They are used primarily for agriculture seed and soil treatments, as well as on plants. They are very water soluble and persist in the environment. And they are systemic – they move into all parts of a treated plant, so they can’t be washed off treated fruits or vegetables.
These pesticides are lethal for pollinators, particularly honeybees. Outdoor use has been banned by the European Union.
Organochlorines + Organophosphates
Organochlorines, pesticides composed of hydrocarbons with chlorine molecules attached, are persistent and extremely slow to degrade. Many have been banned in developed countries, though they are widely used in developing countries, as they are inexpensive.
The most famous pesticide in this category is DDT. Banned in the USA in 1972, it continues to be used legally in Africa and Southeast Asia to control malaria mosquitos. Its breakdown products still show up in 99% of people tested (as reported in the CDC’s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals). Exposure to organochlorines has been associated with a number of health problems, including diabetes, cancers and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Developed in the 1940s in Germany as nerve-gas agents, organophosphates are used on our foods and until recently in our homes. They inhibit an enzyme that breaks down a neurotransmitter that carries signals between muscles and nerves; without that enzyme action, muscles can become paralyzed and death comes by suffocation. Exposure can result in neurological disorders and problems with memory, attention, coordination and executive functioning. Some of the more well-known organophosphates are malathion, parathion and diazinon.
Derived from a compound called carbamic acid, carbamate pesticides kill insects in a manner similar to organophosphates. Toxicity varies, but they are known endocrine disruptors and several are classified as probable or possible carcinogens.
Although they break down relatively quickly (in a few weeks or months), they are highly toxic to honeybees and other members of the Hymenoptera order.
This category of pesticides includes some of the oldest herbicides in use, as well as the second most used herbicide in the USA, Atrazine. Heavy use on corn accounts for most of its use in this country, but it is also used on sugarcane, soybeans, celery, grapes, certain berries and cotton.
These pesticides break down after a few weeks or months in the soil, but water slows the breakdown, so they are commonly found in wells located in agricultural regions. Another problem is drift – they are easily carried on dust particles and have been found 180 miles from the nearest known application site.
The most commonly used herbicide in the USA and the world, glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide, easily recognized by the brand name Roundup.
Further information on glyphosate will be provided in a forthcoming blog.
Here’s a link to additional information on our 955 Testing program: https://blog.reddremedies.com/955-2/