If you can't get pregnant you may want to consider your pesticide exposure.According to the study by the NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) - pet owners who use flea collars on their dogs and cats expose themselves up to 500 times the EPA's (The Environmental Protection agency) safe levels of pesticides! And for kids, those levels can be up to 1'000 times higher. Each time you play with a pet wearing a flea collar you are being exposed to very high levels of pesticides. Children, babies and developing fetuses are the most vulnerable to the effects of pesticides on the nervous system.
Pesticides are designed to interfere with the normal nerve function by overexciting the nerves which lead to shock and death of an insect. They do this by blocking acetylcholine - an important brain messenger which sends crucial information from one nerve cell to the neighbouring nerve cell. Build up of acetylcholine leads to over-excitation of the nervous systems and eventual death. Developing embryos, fetuses, babies and children are also very sensitive to pesticides as their nervous system is developing and growing. Scientists are concerned that exposure to pesticides can not only lead to acute poisoning but also to long-term brain function problems, behavioral issues and other serious diseases.
Pesticides accumulate in the body, are hazardous to the human brain, nervous system, disrupt hormonal function, affect the quality of eggs and sperm, predispose to infertility and can cause miscarriages and birth defects and long term exposure has been linked to cancer and other degenerative disease labels as 'old age' conditions. Which really makes you wonder how many of the 'old age' diseases are actually the result of slow long-term poisoning?
Pet products don't have to go through the same rigorous testing as the products for human consumption do. And up until 1996 products for external use on humans did not have to go through the same rigorous testing food goes through. Even now, many products you'll find on the shelves in your supermarket have not been properly tested for human or child use.
Aside from flea collars being bad for your fertility and baby's health they are also very toxic to the pets - slowly poisoning them. Pets are not very good at telling you they don't feel well and signs of slow poisoning are hard to detect. If you are a pet owner, you love your pet like a family member and do not want it to die prematurely.
What You Should Stay Away FromMost flea and tick collars on the market are made from so-called organophosphate insecticides or OPs, such as:
What to Do
- Use flea and tick treatments which are applied on the pet's skin at the nape. While still toxic to the pet your exposure after 24 hours will be minimal if any.
- Use natural flea collars, but, be careful as some essential oils, pennyroyal and sage, for example, found in those products come from plants known as abortifacients - i.e. can predispose you to miscarriages.
- Get a flea comb, comb your pet regularly with it, keep your pet's hair short and groomed, wash them regularly in natural shampoos and make sure to keep their bedding clean by washing it regularly. You can add tea tree oil, citrus oils or eucalyptus to a load of washing with your pet's bedding and toys to kill off any nasties and to keep repelling them by the smell once dried.
- Wash your hands after playing with your pet before you eat or touch your face and mouth if you used a pesticide-based flea treatment. The same should be practiced by your children.
- You can also make your own pet flea and tick repellant by combining rose geranium and orange oils with water in a spray bottle and misting your pet with the spray. Cats prefer non-citrusy oils so maybe use peppermint or eucalyptus instead if you have a cat. You can use this mixture on your pet's bedding, carpets and any other upholstered furniture your pet likes to sit/sleep on. For more ideas and tips visit Green Paws: http://www.greenpaws.org/
- Eat only organically grown food and minimize your consumption of dairy and meat even if organically farmed.
- Use only environmentally friendly and natural household cleaning products.
- Share this information with your friends and family to protect their fertility, children and pets!