Change in cognitive scores for a 10-fold increase in prenatal creatinine-adjusted DAP, DM, and DE organophosphate pesticide concentrations, CHAMACOS. Bouchard, et al., 2011

By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
21 April 2011

Children exposed to high pesticide levels in the womb have lower average IQs than other kids, according to three independent studies released today in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The studies involved more than 400 children, followed from before birth through ages 6 to 9, from both urban and rural areas. Researchers were from the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia University in New York and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

The Berkeley study found that the most heavily exposed children scored an average of 7 points lower on IQ tests compared with children with the lowest pesticide exposures, lead author Brenda Eskenazi. says.

On IQ tests, the average score is around 100.

Even a difference of 2 or 3 points — the size of the IQ loss caused by lead, which is known to cause brain damage — can have an enormous impact, says pediatrician Aaron Bernstein of Children's Hospital Boston.

That's because a population's IQ scores, when plotted on a graph, tend to fall along a bell-shaped curve. Shifting the entire curve down, even if just by a few points, causes a big jump in the number of kids with low intelligence and a dramatic loss in the number of super-smart ones, says Bernstein, who wasn't involved in the study. That can sharply increase the number of kids needing remedial education, says Bruce Lanphear, a professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, also not involved in the study. …

Pesticide exposure in womb linked to low IQ via The Oil Drum


  1. Anonymous said...

    This is a bullshit study.

    Don't eat high levels of pesticides if you're pregnant.

    And don't smoke, either, or fall down the stairs, or drive.

    1.5 million people die every year from car accidents. How many more crippled and injured?

    By comparison, how many consumers died from ingesting pesticides in produce?



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