Last week, our Facebook post was a link to a YouTube video on the Ames Test. The Ames test was designed to discern the cancer causing potential of different chemicals. The video noted that the mutagenic potential of modern, highly regulated, professional pesticides are very low, organic fruits and vegetables are naturally high, and coffee is off the charts. The video can be found here.
Just how toxic is coffee?
When discussing toxicity with home owners, I like to use coffee as something the average person can relate to. A lot of people drink coffee. I still drink and enjoy coffee, but I know the risks. Coffee beans are roasted, and any time you apply sustained high heat, or burn something, you run the risk of creating carcinogens.
Many studies have shown that your average cup of dark roast coffee coffee contains carcinogens in much greater amounts than even the organic vegetables noted above.
There are studies that show that drinking a reasonable amount of coffee each day poses very little risk of cancer to the average consumer. Risk is a very important term. No one is going to tell you to stop eating organic vegetables because they carry a higher load of carcinogens than non-organic, pesticide treated vegetables. The risk is very small and greatly outweighed by the fact that you are eating fruits and vegetables which contain vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential ingredients.
The cancer risk from having pesticides applied around the exterior of your home is extremely small. They pose a lower risk than the organic vegetables, and a much lower risk than your average cup of coffee.
At Safeguard we don’t use any control material which is a known carcinogen, mutagen, our teratogen, In fact, many of the materials we use are either natural or based on natural materials – there will be more information on that in our next post.
But what about the short term risks? Many materials, from vinegar to natural essential oils to pesticides, are rated for their acute, short term, ‘as it is applied’ – toxicity. The higher the number, the greater amount of the material is required to cause toxicity. (Without getting into a huge explanation of how the rating system works.) The materials below are listed from least toxic to most toxic along with their LD50
Suspend SC 15,000 mg/kg - Professional pesticide
Table salt 3600 mg/kg – Seasoning
Arilon 1909 mg/kg - Professional pesticide
Caffeine 250 mg/kg – Ingredient in coffee
Nicotine 50 mg/kg – Ingredient in tobacco
The figures listed above are for oral exposures. Skin exposure to most chemicals is going to carry less risk. Caffeine, which you drink in coffee, is almost 4 times more toxic than Arilon and 40 times more toxic than Suspend SC, one of the materials we use most commonly.
Less toxic than caffeine, and less of a cancer risk than organic fruits and vegetables. More information next time on pesticides, the information might just surprise you.
Share on Facebook