Heptachlor is one of many pesticides known by the acronym POPs.
That makes them sound almost benign. Their actual name is Persistent Organic Pollutants. Many of these effective pesticides will persist in soil, plants and animals for many years. They also have the ability to bio-accumulate. They can remain in a body over many years and each additional exposure adds to the poison load.
Recent investigations have shown that humans do not have to handle or apply theses POPs to accumulate a load of poison. Studies conducted in California’s Central Valley where agriculture is a major industry have shown that one only needs to be in the area where the pesticide is used to have it show up in the blood. Tests done on inside workers – teachers, clerks and the like – showed significant levels of contamination. Agricultural workers were not part of the investigation.
People far from the contaminated agricultural sites can also acquire POPs. Eating crops grown in contaminated soil, eating fish, dairy, fatty meats from animals exposed will also pass along the poisons.
It is becoming increasingly important for consumers to make judgements and choices about where their food is sourced. It is also important for those who look for the “organic” label on their foods to consider whether the country of origin has high levels of pollution and whether the organic designation is made by a reputable organization.
US National Library of Medicine
Natural Resources Defense Council
Journal of Chilean Chemical Society
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