Prenatal exposure to a class of pesticides widely used on food crops is related to lower intelligence scores at age seven, a U.S. study has found. Organophosphates a class of pesticides toxic to brain cells have been associated with learning delays and ADHD in children
The scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphate pesticides detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in the seven-year-olds.
Organophosphates are a class of pesticides toxic to brain cells, according to the researchers. Indoor use of chlorpyrifos and diazinon, two common forms of the pesticides, has been phased out over the past decade, mainly because of health risks to children. The 329 children in the UC Berkeley study had been followed from before birth. Their pregnant mothers had previously provided urine samples that were tested for breakdown products of the pesticides. Read more here
Researchers advise consumers to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, using a soft brush if practical, are impractical. Plants use the water in the soil. If there are chemicals in the soil, there is a greater chance of those chemicals to become part of the food. The higher the percentage of water in fruit or vegetables such as strawberries and watermelon, the higher the pesticide counts. According to Environmental Working Group an excellent resource for everything that matters to our environment and your health
“Organophosphates have been associated with learning delays and ADHD in children,” Lunder added. “But the fact that three separate studies arrived at such similar conclusions is overwhelming evidence that this family of pesticides presents profound and very serious health risks to children before they’re even born.”
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles USDA’s data and ranks the most popular fruits and vegetables according to the levels of overall pesticide residues. Find out here what you should always purchase organic. The 2011 guide will be out soon. Get the entire scoop including the studies involved here. Along with the top foods to always buy organic, conventional foods that are lowest in pesticide residue and sign up for their newsletter to keep yourself informed.
Feature Photo: Justyna Furmanczyk RGBStok.com