Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Pesticide Exposure Means Lower IQ For Kids, Say Studies

New data shows that when mothers are exposed to pesticides before giving birth, their children are more likely to have a lower IQs.

Baby Toes

Photo: sabianmaggy (flickr)

Researchers tested pregnant women for traces of pesticides in their bodies and then followed their children through grade school to test their resulting IQs.

Three separate studies have researched the effects of pesticides on IQ levels.

The results show that infants who live on or near farms that use pesticides on crops or in homes where pesticide-laden household products are used have lower IQs than children who don’t.

What’s To Blame?

In one study through the University of California, Berkeley, scientists tested the urine of pregnant women who lived on or near farms for traces of the pesticide organophosphates’ byproduct, metabolites. When the children were born, the researchers screened them through grade school.

What they found is that mothers with higher levels of pesticide metabolites in their urine had children with lower IQs at age 7.

Another study at Colombia University tested for the pesticide chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide that’s used to kill bugs and pests. Scientists measured umbilical blood and found that at age seven, the children had a much lower IQ than those without pesticide traces.

Chlorpyrifos is now banned for household use, but it’s still sprayed along roadways and on food crops. According to Virginia Rauh, professor of population and family health at Columbia, many people have some level of it in their blood.

In Our Blood In More Ways Than One?

Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City conducted a third study that concluded one in three people is more genetically susceptible to the risks associated with pesticide exposure than others.

Unfortunately, the study could not determine how to tell which folks are more prone to the risks and which aren’t

Read More:

Katie Dawson

Katie Dawson is a sophomore at IU majoring in journalism and Spanish. Currently she lives in Bloomington, IN but is originally from Indianapolis. She enjoys cooking, eating and sometimes exercising.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media