Source: PAN AP
Type: Sign-On Statement
Pesticides harm the environment and people’s health, and our children are the most vulnerable. A US national survey found that of the 40 pesticides most commonly used in schools, 28 are probable or possible carcinogens (cancer-causing), 26 cause reproductive problems, 26 damage the nervous system and 13 are linked to birth defects. In Australia, where insecticides are widely used in homes and farms, pre-school children have been found to have "widespread chronic exposure" to insecticides. Pesticides disrupt hormone functions (endocrine disruption), cause physical abnormalities, damage internal organs or systems, and adversely impact intellectual and behavioural development.
Children face far greater risks of exposure compared to adults. They breathe more air, eat more food and drink more water per unit of body weight and thus have greater exposure in a pesticide-contaminated environment. They face higher risk of poisonings due to accidental inhalation and ingestion of common household insecticides/pesticides.
Insecticide sprays, vapour mats and insecticide/pesticide powders are easily accessible and widely used, often carelessly and with increasing frequency. They are used in our homes, schools, parks and public places including entertainment outlets, shops and restaurants. Directly or indirectly, children, including infants, are at risk of continuous exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides.
In almost all cases, children are unable to assert their right to a chemical/pesticide-free environment. As adults and parents, we should make it our responsibility to ensure that the health and future of our children are not jeopardized by these harmful chemicals and pesticides.
Natural remedies to pesticides exist and must be promoted, while research into safer alternatives must be pursued.
Thus, we, the undersigned, strongly urge the Malaysian Government to:
BAN the use of 17 highly hazardous pesticides or HHPs (see on the side). They are known to cause irreversible damage to the developing brain of children and are linked to attention deficit disorders, autism, birth defects, and cancer.
PHASE OUT common household insecticide sprays and powders that pollute our children’s environment and place them at risk of serious health effects and poisonings.
TAKE THE LEAD in promoting ecological agriculture and safe ecological methods for pest management. Ecological agriculture has been proven to effectively manage agricultural pests and is practiced successfully by farmers around the world.
We trust that you will give due attention to this urgent appeal and take action to protect our children and future generations.
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