Three studies on pre-natal exposure to chemicals were published at the same time by Researchers at UC Berkeley, Mt. Sinai and Columbia in the Journal, “Environmental Health Perspectives”.
They concerned both City-dweller and Country-dweller subjects.
And it looks bad for babies.
It turns out if a pregnant mother is exposed to Organo-Phosphate pesticides; -at-all, either through Environmental exposure, OR through Diet, it affects the developing fetus.
This impact took a toll of up to 7 IQ points. And it did so to the child she was carrying significantly more than it would a young one of a few years. Even a small kid’s body was shown to degrade OPs much better with less cognitive impact.
As the Mt. Sinai study revealed, another part of this problem is Genetic.
And even though it may not make a difference to the behavior of a wise mother, they will still be unlikely to know if they have one gene variant or another. And in this case, it can determine if the particular enzymes her body makes break down Organo-Phosphates either slowly or quickly.
-Which noone would guess; unless they’ve had their DNA analyzed. (wishing practiced-medicine would catch up to experimental faster, here) Not even sure if this is a routine test given to planning parents; guessing: no.
As expected, the children with the biggest IQ deficit were from mothers with the slow-acting-enzyme variant.
*****And as Malcolm Gladwell describes in “Outliers”, significant changes at an early age can result in huge negative drifts over the decades of a person’s life.
Another Wake-Up-Call: just because these pesticides have declined in Residential use recently, it doesn’t mean much.
-They are Still approved & legal for use in food-crop Commercial Agriculture.
The only recommendations seemed to be reduction of residential pesticide use, thorough washing of fruits & veg, and if at all possible, perhaps even for just the mother, to Eat Organic at least while pregnant.
The 3 studies did not look at overall health, only Intelligence; so the effects of pesticides on developing children should not be assumed localized only to IQ.
They were also very strongly correlated; uncommonly-so, even across two wildly different populations between Salinas, CA and New York City. So any idea that there were Regional, Economic, or Other factors at-work, should be discarded.
I don’t know why, but I need some cheering up after writing this post. Allow me to share:
Further Details at the Links:
(no, E*Trade is not giving us anything to put baby in here, the commercials are just awesome.)
“autumn garden 5”, by Martina
“Wallstreet/Broadway”, by Jakob Lyng
“Apple tree 2”, by Patrick Hajzler
“Lottery” Commercial, by E*Trade
• Source: UC Berkeley-Prenatal Pesticides
• More Coverage: ScienceDaily | YouTube-E*Trade Baby “Lottery” Commercial
• Source Study: EHP-Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year-Old Children