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Organic food is grown using the practices and philosophies of organic agriculture No synthetic pesticides are used Choosing organically produced foods lowers the risk of getting various forms of cancer and other illnesses Children are more prone to the harms of pesticides than adults are Ingesting organic foods reduce the intake of unsafe synthetic chemicals Many synthetic pesticides cause cancer disrupt hormones harm the nervous or immune systems and cause irritation of the skin eyes nose lungs and digestive tract Pesticides are usually tested individually though the population is exposed to many chemicals at a time The reactions between combinations of chemicals are rarely tested Exposure to mixtures of pesticides is predominantly worrying One chemical may initiate the conversion of another chemical into a harmful active form Some combinations may depress the immune system leaving the body more susceptible to disease Alarming evidence shows increased birth defects reduced sperm counts and impaired sexual development Children are more susceptible to pesticide risks than adults are Currently legal residues amounts of pesticides allowed by Health and Welfare Canada to remain on food are calculated with adults in mind However children consume more food per kilogram of body weight than adults their metabolisms and behavior are different By age five millions of children have ingested up to thirty-five percent of their entire lifetime dose of some carcinogenic pesticides Children are also more vulnerable to ingested pesticides because their nervous system is not fully developed and their immature digestive tract absorbs toxic chemicals more readily The average pre-schooler eats six times the amount of fruit and fruit products the most likely to be contaminated than an adult woman Consequently the average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to eight of sixty-six identified widely used carcinogenic pesticides This relationship between pesticides and young children as well as exposure while growing up can lower intelligence motor skills and functional ability of an average child The National Resources Defense
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