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Pesticide Exposure in the Womb Affects IQ Levels

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Most people already knew that pesticide exposure can be harmful to our overall health, but our exposure can also be affecting our children. Studies show that children who are exposed to high levels of pesticides in the womb are prone to have lower IQ levels than children who are not.

Pesticides are most often sprayed on commercial and local food crops to insure a profitable harvest. Unfortunately for us consumes, traces of these pesticides make it back to our grocery stores and farm stands still on the produce.

The pesticides in question, called organophosphates, have long concerned both scientists and regulators. They block the enzymes that are needed for neurological activity. They don’t only affect the pests, as intended, but also humans.

These pesticides have already been linked to attention deficit disorders in children exposed in the womb. Now studies also show that IQ levels can decrease in proportion to a mother’s exposure.

To find the exposure and amount, researchers performed urine screening tests on participating pregnant mothers. They then followed the children from birth through ages 6 to 9. The children who had high levels of pesticide exposure in the womb scored an average of 7 points lower on their IQ exams than those who were not. The average IQ score is 100 points. Even a score 2 or 3 points lower can be a significant impact on a child’s activity and function.

The best way to prevent pesticide exposure is to wash all fresh produce well. Expectant women are still encouraged to eat as much fresh produce as possible, but to be diligent with washing and preparing them. Buying organic produce is also an encouraged alternative.

Long Island Pregnancy Articles > Pesticide Exposure in the Womb Affects IQ Levels

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