Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Common Pesticides Associated with Lower Birth Weight and Shortened Pregnancy

Common Pesticides Associated with Lower Birth Weight and Shortened Pregnancy

Environmental Working Group

A new study is reinforcing obstetricians’ standard warning that pregnant women should avoid exposure to pesticides in foods and weed killers because the chemicals can harm the developing fetus.

In the study, Cincinnati-area women had levels of organophosphate insecticides that significantly affected birth weight and gestation period.

“This latest report is further evidence that babies in the womb are exquisitely sensitive to pesticide exposure,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG). “While much has been done to reduce people’s exposure to organophosphates, this important study shows that even remaining exposures are harmful.”

Lead researcher Bruce Lanphear MD MPH, and his colleagues tracked an ethnically and economically diverse group of more than 300 expectant mothers from the Cincinnati area. They found that newborns of women with the highest levels of organophosphates in their urine were delivered, on average, about half a week earlier and weighed one-third of a pound less than those of women with the lowest exposures.

The abstract of the new study can be found in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

For years, EWG has urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the use of these highly toxic pesticides in agriculture and advised consumers to avoid fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides. Last year, three studies found that prenatal exposure to organophosphates was associated with diminished IQ in children. Other research has linked organophosphate exposure in children to increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

For more information, click here.

A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A creative depiction of bigfoot in a forest. Nisian Hughes / Stone / Getty Images

Deep in the woods, a hairy, ape-like man is said to be living a quiet and secluded life. While some deny the creature's existence, others spend their lives trying to prove it.

Read More Show Less

Trending

President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer holds a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Jan. 30, 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

By Jon Queally

Noted author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben was among the first to celebrate word that the president of the European Investment Bank on Wednesday openly declared, "To put it mildly, gas is over" — an admission that squares with what climate experts and economists have been saying for years if not decades.

Read More Show Less

A dwarf giraffe is seen in Uganda, Africa. Dr. Michael Brown, GCF

Nine feet tall is gigantic by human standards, but when researcher and conservationist Michael Brown spotted a giraffe in Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park that measured nine feet, four inches, he was shocked.

Read More Show Less
Kelsey Mueller, 16, pets Ruby while waiting with her family to be escorted from the evacuation zone at the Shaver Lake Marina parking lot off of CA-168 during the Creek Fire on Sept. 7, 2020 in Shaver Lake, California. Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Daisy Simmons

In a wildfire, hurricane, or other disaster, people with pets should heed the Humane Society's advice: If it isn't safe for you, it isn't safe for your animals either.

Read More Show Less