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Are They Angry,or Are They Just …Toxic? By The Ecologist

Agricultural chemicals aren’t just carcinogenic, they’re making us aggressive.

A report in the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health says that continued exposure to low doses of water-borne weed killers, artificial fertilizer sand pesticides, at levels in US groundwater,cause significant changes in the way we behave. The study, which took medical researchers at the University of Wisconsin in the USA five years to complete, is one of the first to explore the effects of combinations of agricultural compounds.

Scientist Warren Porter’s team discovered that combinations were far more likely to cause thyroid imbalances than individual chemicals. The thyroid controls the boy’s metabolic rate. People who have a fast metabolism tend to be more nervous and aggressive than those with a slow metabolism .Combinations of frequently-used chemicals were found to make the thyroid hyperactive, causing increased irritability and aggression.

In another study carried out in the Yaqui Valley, Sonora, Mexico by Elizabeth A. Guilette and her colleagues, a comparison was made of the behavioral,learning and physical differences of children brought up in the valley basin, where pesticides are liberally sprayed, and those who live in the foothills, where families don’t use sprays at all.
They came to the same conclusion: that the pesticide exposed children of the valley basin were noticeably more aggressive than the children from the foothills.

A recent spate of violence from America’s young has left people wondering what the problem is. Is it the breakdown of communities, religion,families? Is it violent TV? Few have questioned the role that increasing doses of man-made chemical shave to play.

(reprinted from the British journal The Ecologist, Vol. 29, No.4, July 1999)
Dr. Porter’s study on chemical combinations was published in Toxicology and Industrial Health, Vol. 15, Nos. 1 and 2(1999), pp. 133-150.