DeTOX Our Homes

By: Danielle Banks
By: Danielle Banks

DeTOX Our Homes is a campaign to help you make healthy decisions about the chemical products you use in your home. Sometimes what you don't know can actually hurt you.

Homeowner Fred Hinz says, "I keep my dogs sometimes in the garage so I keep anything that is poisonous away from them."

Even if you're like Hinz and keep chemicals out of the reach of pets and kids, experts days that's not enough if those chemicals contain organophosphates or OP's. Natural Resources Defense Council member Steve Gurney says, "Kids are especially vulnerable because their immune systems are still developing and they have really rapid cell reproduction and that's part of why they're really vulnerable."

OP's are used in a number of products sold to kill insects. They are designed to stay poisonous for a long time and because of that they continue to build up. And the build up can be dangerous to your kids.

Steve Gurney says, "The incidence of some of the diseases and cancers affecting children are commonly found in rural areas where the application of pesticides is really quite large."

There are a lot of OP free products, but without clearly marked labeling it's hard to know the difference. Ron Jennings owns Calvalry Pest Control. He is an active member of the DeTOX campaign and says, "You want to avoid having products that will have an organophosphates such as dursban, or diazinon, or something like that. You do not want to have those products inside your home particularly if you have small children."

Companies are no longer allowed to use OP's in new products, but they are allowed to sell their existing stock. Meaning, they can still be found on your store's shelves. It's up to you to know what to look for.

The DeTOX Our Homes Web site contains more than three hundred products that have been rated according to their safety. For a complete list, you can visit the Web site at

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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