Homes Filled with Dangerous Pesticides: Study

So it turns out much of the most dangerous types of indoor pollution we live with we may be creating ourselves…Despite the existence of chemical-free methods to eradicate pests, Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticides per year. These chemicals are mostly out of sight and out of mind to unsuspecting homeowners, who are typically unaware of how to prevent potential harm – something new research is addressing.

There is reason for everyone to attend to this issue.  At CFL we have published a number of studies in recent years linking exposure to pesticides to cancer, endometriosis, lowered sperm count/infertility and miscarriage, among a number of other serious health conditions.


Harmful pesticides lurking in New York State homes

The study

In a study recently published in JSM Health Education & Primary Health Care, researchers from Cornell University examined the extent of indoor pesticide pollution in New York state rural homes.

Conducting pesticide analyses as part of a larger effort that studied pollutants in homes and child care facilities, the researchers sampled 350 homes…looking for 15 potentially toxic pesticides commonly used in those areas’ agricultural practices, with a likelihood of accumulation in the interiors of nearby homes.

The findings

Researchers found that pesticide residues are ubiquitous in rural homes in New York state…positive results for such chemicals were found in every house tested.

Particularly concerning… is what is known about these chemicals and their potential harmfulness to humans, especially infants.

Results are concerning to scientists

“Numerous health problems occur from exposure to pesticides, such as cancer, birth defects, leukemia and ocular [vision-related] toxicity, among a number of other health issues.  Households with crawling toddlers should be concerned, as toddlers will accumulate pesticide residues on their hands and then ingest them due to hand-to-mouth behaviors.”  -Dr. Joseph Laquatra


Pesticides are sprayed indoors by consumers.  Choosing safer organic or DIY versions is the best solution to protect the health of everyone living inside the home.  Additionally, pesticides can also get inside our homes via other routes…Previous studies of pesticide residues in homes have highlighted entry routes for chemicals that include tracking with shoes, bare feet, clothing or animal fur; airborne entry; and soil gas entry…Pesticides applied to gardens and lawns can follow these same transport routes into a home.  Once inside a home, according to research, pesticide residues accumulate in dust.  So an important solution for minimizing dangerous pesticides lurking inside our homes is to keep the home clean.


Study overview