I was turned onto using Organic Cotton Balls via a lovely sales associate at Target, we were talking about skin care and she was recommending me products. She mentioned that Organic Cotton balls are the way to go since they aren't slathered in pesticides, it never occurred to me that even cotton would be a victim of pesticides. I quickly realized that cotton like any plant has to be sprayed with pesticides to keep the bugs from eating, and whats worse is that we don’t wash cotton before we put it on our face how we wash fruit before we eat it. I had a challenging time finding quality sources for this post, I even went to the online library through my school and they had little to no information about this. I did find two articles, one from Huffington post discussing why using organic in clothing is so important and one from an online group called EcoFriendly Online discussing everything on Organic Cotton Farming. Take a look at both articles however, I will point out some key details you need to be aware of.
-According to EcoFriendly Organic cotton is grown without the use of Pesticides, Fungicides, Herbicides, Swage Sludge, Irradiation or Genetic Engineering (yikes I didn't even know half of these existed).
-According to David Dietz on Huffington Post the toxins used in regular cotton pads are not only harmful to us but harmful to farmers and workers as well as the wildlife eco-system. Shockingly enough only 1% of cotton is grown organic.
-According to Dietz 10,000 farmers in the US die each year from cancers related to these chemicals, these similar pesticides kill 67 million birds annually in the US too (it’s crazy how much of an impact these pesticides have on people, the environment and animals)
-Dietz also points out that the chemicals head straight to run-off water infecting our waterways, not to mention pesticide residue has been found in food, farm animals and breast milk.
-Finally, Dietz mentions that the use of non-organic cottons and fabrics can cause irritated skin, rashes dizziness and headaches just from chemical getting caught in the residue of threads.
I know that might be overwhelming, but it’s a harsh truth we have to face. I have switched from regular cotton balls and tampons to organic tampons and cotton balls, both of which I get at target. These are small steps you can take to protect yourself, the environment and other people/animals impacted by the use of chemicals. I will leave you with two more shocking facts that hopefully can help you make the switch!
According to EcoFriendly “In 2003, 55 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on the 12.8 million acres of conventional cotton grown in the United States (4.30 pounds per acre), making Cotton the third most heavily treated US crop behind corn and soybeans (Reported by USDA)”.
Lastly, EcoFriendly tells us that “The average “100% cotton” product actually only contains only 73% cotton. The remaining 27% consists of Chemicals, Resins, and Binders used in Farming and Manufacturing”.
Unfortunately, not nearly enough people are aware of the negative aspects that pesticides and other harsh chemicals are causing, I urge you to inform your friends and family! Open the discussion about buying organic and why the use of harmful chemicals is not cute at all!
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