There are many reasons why purchasing Organic products are important. Because organic agriculture doesn’t use toxic and persistent pesticides, choosing organic products is an easy way to help protect yourself. These are a few of the reasons we consume and purchase organic products for our children pets and our home.
Over two-thirds of the world’s cotton is grown in developing countries and the former Soviet Union. Cotton, over a $30 billion dollar/year crop should be improving lives. But this ‘white gold’ too often brings misery. The unsustainable, inequitable and abusive conditions under which much of the world’s cotton is produced, continues.(EJF)
Toxic chemicals have an enormous effect on all of our bodies and health. They are absorbed through our water, food and the products that we use. As far as chemical exposure to toxins, children and pets as well are extremely vulnerable. A child's developing body is vulnerable to toxic harm from small doses that are received at the wrong time. Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are a class of chemicals found in many consumer products—from cosmetics to children's toys and baby products. They are commonly used to soften PVC plastic, are found in fragrances and are known to interfere with hormone-driven reproductive development. Why should you even be concerned about Plastic Toys? Because PVC (pthalates) the most toxic plastic, is most often used in soft children's products - bath toys, squeeze toys and teething rings. Since everything that their little hands pick up, goes into their little mouths & bodies, these Phthalates can be ingested, inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Almost all soft plastic toys for infants and toddlers contain PVC (Phthalates) added to make the PVC soft and squishy to manufacture infant toys that are chewed and sucked primarily to relieve teething irritation. Some other nice ingredients such as heavy metals - Lead & Cadmium, are added to make the stiff type of PVC, more durable for use in older children's toys. These chemicals can leach out and show up in your children's blood and have been linked to cancer, kidney damage and interference and development of the reproductive system. Disposal of PVC plastic releases dioxins; known to be highly toxic even in small quantities. Therefore, it is best to ensure that PVC toys go to a landfill site, not to a municipal incinerator.(Oregon Toxics Alliance). There are no labeling requirements, so there is no way for even the most careful shoppers to know whether a toy or other product contains phthalates. There are toy companies in the USA and abroad that are making toys without the use of phthalates. Parents just need to find them. What you can do as a parent, a consumer, is avoid buying anything that is made of PVC plastic.Purchase unpainted wood blocks or dolls made from organic cotton or wool and wooden toys that are solidly constructed and will last long enough to be passed on to younger children.
Why we need to clean up Cotton and Buy Organic
Child Labor and Cotton
Over 250 million children across the world are compelled to work, 70% of them from West Africa to Egypt, India to Turkmenistan, they are employed in a variety of tasks from cottonseed production, to pesticide spraying and the annual cotton harvest, with an enormous exposure to pesticides, chemicals and hard forced labor. This pesticide exposure is particularly damaging to children because of their smaller body size, differing metabolism and rapidly growing and developing organ systems.(EJF). Each year in Egypt is estimated that one million children between the ages of seven and 12 manually remove pests from cotton plants for the duration of up to ten weeks each year, eleven hours a day, seven days a week, earning US $.68 to US $0.95 per day.I n the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, it is estimated 100,000 children below the age of 18 work 13 hours/day in cottonseed production earning less than half a euro per day. Even though children are extremely vulnerable to poisoning, child labourers throughout the world risk exposure to hazardous pesticides through participation in cotton production. they are often the first victims of pesticide poisoning, even if they do not participate in the spraying, but due to the proximity of their homes to cotton fields, or because of the re-use of empty pesticide containers.
Pesticides and Cotton
Cotton grows on 2.4% of the world’s arable land, yet it is responsible for the release of over US$2 billion of chemical pesticides each year. Almost half of these chemical pesticides are considered toxic enough to be classified as 'hazardous' by the World Health Organization. (EJF) Pesticides, hazardous by design manufactured with the aim of killing, repelling or inhibiting the growth of living organisms, by impairing biological processes essential for the maintenance of life. (EJF) It is estimated that 1 million to 5 million cases of pesticide poisoning occur every year, resulting in 20,000 reported deaths among agricultural workers and at least 1 million requiring hospitalization. (EJF) A powerful nerve agent named Aldicarb, is one of the most toxic pesticides applied to cotton, yet it is also the 2nd most used pesticide in global cotton production. A single teaspoonful of aldicarb on the skin would be sufficient to kill an adult. In total the world’s cotton accounts for 16% of global insecticide releases by market share: far more than is applied to any other single crop worldwide.(EJF)
It is estimated that 1 million to 5 million cases of pesticide poisoning occur every year, causing 20,000 reported deaths among agricultural workers with at least 1 million needing hospitalization. Developing countries account for less than 30% of global pesticide consumption and most of thepesticide poisonings occur in a developing world scenario; including an estimated 99% of pesticide induced deaths.
A few of the common pesticides used in cotton:
Aldicarb, a powerful nerve agent, is one of the most toxic pesticides applied to cotton worldwide and the 2nd most used pesticide in global cotton production. Just one drop of aldicarb, absorbed through the skin, is enough to kill an adult.The average cotton T-shirt is only 73% cotton fiber; the rest is chemicals and resins. Did you know that it takes about 1 cup of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to make one conventional cotton t-shirt.
Endosulfan is widely used in cotton production and is the dominant pesticide in the cotton sector in 19 countries. In a single province of Benin, at least 37 people died from endosulfan poisoning in just one cotton season.
Monocrotophos Despite being withdrawn from the US market in 1989, it is widely used in developing world countries. In 1997, Paraguay’s Ministry of Health and Welfare identified it as being responsible for causing paralysis in children living in cotton growing areas.
Deltamethrin a nerve agent is applied in over half of the cotton producing countries. Medical analysis in a community in a South African village located on the edge of a major cotton production area found traces of deltamethrin in human breast milk.