I have been pestered by chemical (and specifically pesticide) overexposure in very noticeable ways for the past 28 years of my life.
Throughout my youth, I swam often, and I guess I wasn't intimidated by the green slime. I would hear adults talk about how this particular dammed lake is fed by streams that wind their way through agricultural areas. Farm runoff, they'd say, caused the algae. I was slightly deterred by thinking about swimming through cow poo. This knowledge stopped me from drinking the lake water, but not from cooling down on a hot summer day.
"How awful is poo, anyway," I thought.
I had to get rid of my fish tank, as trying to clean it caused my airways to constrict and skin to swell and itch. I also never swam in that lake (or any other body of water with large deposits of algae) again.
Especially apples, peaches/nectarines, plums and cherries.
Basically anything with pollen.
These days, allergy symptoms are easily kept at bay with some kind of prescription or over-the-counter medication. However, back in the '80s, there were not really any good allergy remedies. The doctor gave me a big blue pill that took away my symptoms for 8 hours ... while rendering me unconscious. When I woke up, the scratchy, watery eyes, sneezing and throat itchiness returned instantly. :-|
I have experienced several more negative effects of chemical exposure that were more gradual. Those will be covered in future posts.
What caused this sudden onset of allergies? Well, let's consider what runoff from factory farms contains.
Pesticides - They don't just magically disappear after they're sprayed on crops that both animals and humans eat.
Poo - A LOT of poo.
Not only does this cause concern for the environment, but for our health, our well-being. After all, you are what you eat ... and we in this country eat a lot of factory farmed foods.
If you haven't seen the documentary Food, Inc., it is available to watch instantly on Netflix right now and should be put at the top of your queue if you have any interest at all about what you put in your body (not to mention sustainable farming practices). If you don't have Netflix, maybe a friend does and will watch it with you. Or rent it from your local library. Here's the trailer: