Reclaiming the future of food and farming

Chlorpyrifos

Pesticide Action Network's picture

Kids & pesticides: A problem that crosses borders

Children living near banana farms in Costa Rica face widespread exposure to the neurotoxic pesticide chlorpyrifos — at levels EPA would consider unsafe.

In a study measuring a chlorpyrifos biomarker in children's bodies, researchers found that nearly 100% of the samples exceeded the EPA safety limits set with children's safety in mind. Urine samples were taken from kids living near banana plantations or plantain farms in the Talamanca region.

Kristin Schafer's picture

Bad for adult brains, too.

On the heels of last week's strong report from pediatricians highlighting the harms pesticides can cause children's developing minds, a new study finds that pesticides are clearly harming adult brains, too.

In the "meta-analysis" published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology, scientists reviewed 14 separate studies of neurobehavioral changes linked to low-level organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure. They found that workers exposed to OPs — particularly over long periods of time — had reduced working memory and were slower to process information.

Kristin Schafer
Medha Chandra's picture

IQs at risk: Boys beware!

I keep reading about how boys have a harder time at all levels of school than girls. It turns out there may be more going on than the commonly held argument that teaching styles are more conducive to girls' success. Boys may also be at a biological disadvantage — new research shows that their brains may be more vulnerable to harm from pesticides.

As a mom of an infant boy, this has me seriously worried.

Medha Chandra
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Tighter rules for brain toxicant

Earlier today, EPA announced new restrictions on the insecticide chlorpyrifos, a known brain toxicant linked to learning disabilities in children and commonly sprayed on corn, oranges, grapes and almonds, among other crops.

These new protections are a step in the right direction, and will significantly reduce the amount of chlorpyrifos applied to fields and orchards. But more protection is needed to safeguard the health of farm communities and children who live, learn and play near pesticide application sites.

Pesticide Actio...
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Fetal exposure alters brain structure, say scientists

When a pregnant woman is exposed to low levels of a commonly used pesticide, the architecture of her developing infant's brain may be irreversibly damaged. This according to researchers who for the first time used MRI testing to see structural evidence of harm from exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during fetal development.

Researchers report that the changes in brain structure they observed were consistent with the learning and developmental effects (including reduced IQs) that have been linked to chlorpyrifos. The effects were observed at exposure levels well below those considered harmful by EPA.

Pesticide Actio...
Medha Chandra's picture

Unwelcome travelers: Pesticides in the Arctic

Endosulfan. Chlorpyrifos. Chlorothalonil. Not words one would associate with the crisp, cold air and water of the Arctic region. But new research shows that these pesticides, among others, are traveling to the Arctic from as far as South East Asia, India and the United States. 

Medha Chandra
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Doctors' Rx: Say 'no' to brain toxicant

Health professionals are adding their voices to the demand that EPA protect children from the brain toxicant chlorpyrifos. 

Citing a growing body of scientific evidence linking exposure to this widely used pesticide with harms to children's health, more than two dozen health care professionals from across the country submitted a letter to EPA yesterday, calling on the agency to follow their prescription and take the pesticide completely off the market.

Pesticide Actio...
Kristin Schafer's picture

Let's get this brain toxin off the menu

As parents, we have plenty on our minds as we settle into a new school year — new teachers, carpools, sibling rivalry — the list goes on. We really shouldn't have to add this: apples and peaches we're packing in our kids' lunchbags may expose them to chlorpyrifos, a pesticide known to lower IQs and increase risk of ADHD. I'm sorry, what??

If you ask me, the following scenario makes much more sense: Fruits and veggies help make kids healthy and smart. Farming with chemicals like chlorpyrifos that harm children is unthinkable. And what we pack for lunch doesn't risk damage to our child's nervous system.

Kristin Schafer
Karl Tupper's picture

Blowin' in the wind (aka Drift)

It seems like a no-brainer: If you happen to live or work or go to school across the street from a field or orchard where pesticides are sprayed, you might think, "Maybe I'm breathing some of these pesticides." Especially when the wind blows from the field towards you. Especially when you can smell the pesticides. And you might also think, "Maybe this isn't good for me." Especially when the guys applying the pesticides are wearing Tyvek spacesuits. Especially if you start feeling ill.

And you'd be right to think these thoughts, even though most growers and pesticide applicators will tell you that you're crazy and have nothing to worry about. For years PAN's been working with concerned communities to show that these exposures are real and need to be taken seriously. And now a new study by scientists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and various states' Departments of Health, corroborates what we've been saying all along.

Karl Tupper

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