Sparkle & Smile

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EPA Finds Probable Carcinogens in Pesticides Linger in Homes

According to the EPA approximately 165 pesticide compounds are thought to cause cancer.  To make matters worse, a new study conducted by the EPA and published in Environmental Science & Technology finds that pesticides linger in our homes long after they were applied.  The study detected outdoor pesticides (used in the garden and on the lawn but tracked in on the soles of our shoes) as well as indoor pesticides (used to control roaches, fleas, ticks, lice, ants and more).  Some of the pesticides detected on kitchen floors were banned from sale years ago!

According to the study, the most commonly found pesticides were:

  • Permethrin (in 89% of homes)
  • Chlorpyrifos (78%)
  • Chlordane (74%, banned in 1984)
  • Piperonyl butoxide (52%)
  • Cypermethrin (45%)
  • DDT (42%, banned in 1972)
  • Fipronil (40%)
  • Diazinon (35%, banned in 2004)

Some key takeaways to help keep your home more green and healthy:

  1. When applying pesticides outdoors, wear disposable shoe covers or use a pair of shoes specially designated for this purpose that are left in the garage.  Also, start at the far corner of your yard and work your way back toward the house to keep from stepping in applied pesticides.
  2. Find green products to control detrimental bug populations in your yard, and remember, not all bugs are bad – some prey on the true pests.
  3. Kill roaches, spiders and other bugs you can see with your shoe, not a pesticide. 
  4. Be aware that small children and pets are most often exposed to these harmful chemical residues since they spend the most amount of time on the floor of any member of your family.  Don’t allow pets to eat food that has dropped on the floor; remove it before they have a chance.
  5. Take measures to minimize the amount of toxins that you can control in your home, to counteract those that you can’t control.  Using Maid Brigade’s Green Clean Certified (R) Service can help with this since we don’t use harmful chemicals to clean your home.

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