Prenatal Pesticide Exposure Results in Lower IQ

According to a new study, babies who have been exposed to pesticides in utero are more likely to have a lower IQ than babies with minimal prenatal pesticide exposure. Three different studies concerning this anomaly have all had the same disturbing results.

Researchers conducted a total of three studies. One study was conducted by researchers at the University of California Berkley. Researchers evaluated members of an agricultural community in the state. Researchers discovered that prenatal exposure to a pesticide known as organophosphate resulted in children having a lower IQ. The IQ dropped 5.5 points for each tenfold increase in exposure.

A team at Columbia University tested the umbilical cord blood for levels of chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos have been proven to be toxic to brain cells. The researchers noted that children with higher levels of the toxin in their cord blood have lower scores on two separate IQ tests.

The third study conducted by Mount Sinai Medical Center tested maternal urine to evaluate the levels of pesticide residue. The Berkley team continued to take urine samples of the children until they reached five years of age.

Researchers have determined prenatal exposure to pesticides is more dangerous to the developing brain than exposure throughout childhood.

The study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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