For Immediate Release: December 3, 2015
A new study released today found that children exposed to commonly used pesticides have significantly reduced lung function — comparable to damage caused by exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke.
Researchers from UC Berkeley's CHAMACOS project in California's central coast region measured lung function among 279 children, and found that higher levels of breakdown products from organophosphate pesticides in the children's bodies were linked to significantly lower exhalation rates — about 8% less air.
Responding to today's study, PAN policy director Kristin Schafer, co-author of A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children's health and intelligence, released the following statement:
"For years, pediatricians have warned that children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of agricultural pesticides. This latest study confirms — yet again — that these chemicals are harming children right now in communities across the country.
It took a lawsuit to finally prompt EPA to take action on chlorpyrifos, one of the worst offenders — and they're still not doing nearly enough. And after more than a decade, we're pressing the agency to implement a full and rapid ban of this dangerous pesticide, and protect children from exposure to similar pesticides as well.
In California, we're urging state officials to support 'agricultural innovation zones' around schools in rural areas, to replace child-harming pesticides with safer, more sustainable farming. As this latest study shows, action to protect our children is long overdue."