Cut Flowers – A Major Source of Toxic Pesticides


It’s a little-known fact that when you buy flowers to brighten your home, you may also bring a multitude of toxic chemical residues with you, hidden among the lovely petals. It’s like inviting in a Trojan Horse filled with chemical contaminants that endanger all who come in contact with them.

There are unfortunately few regulations on the use of toxic chemicals for flowers farming because we don’t consume them, and they are often imported from countries with limited or no restrictions at all. Therefore, cut flowers are usually loaded with massive amounts of carcinogenic pesticides and herbicides, and toxic preservatives. More than 70% of the world’s cut flowers are grown in South America and are not tested for pesticide residues when entering the U.S.

It’s unsettling to think that we touch, caress and bury our noses in flowers that have been fumigated, doused with highly toxic pesticides, and drenched in preservative baths. And little doggy can innocently chew them.

To get an idea of what effects it can have on our health, we can just look at the damages caused by these scary production practices among floriculturists. More than 60 percent of workers suffer from pesticide-related illnesses including skin and respiratory problems, genetic damage, increased risk of cancer, infertility and premature birth.

Luckily, as the organic flower industry is beginning to bud, some retailers such as Whole Foods or online sellers  now offer organic flowers. You can also use to locate organic flowers farms around your area. Even better, if you have a garden, enjoy growing your own.

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