Super Starts Here.

Pesticides & Their Harmful Impact On Children’s Health

on November 7, 2012

We all encourage our children to eat their fruits and veggies, but we might not always take a look into where the produce is actually coming from.  New studies that have come out clearly show, we need to take more time to make sure we are providing our children with pesticide-free produce.

In Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages, the pediatricians at the American Academy of Pediatrics point to science linking pesticide exposure with a range of childhood health harms, from reduced birth weight to ADHD to impaired mental development.

They also make it clear that food is the main source of pesticide exposure for most kids, and that “an organic diet reduces children’s exposure to pesticides.” In one of the studies they describe, when kids switched to an organic diet for five days, levels of pesticides in their bodies dropped to almost undetectable levels.

The Academy expressed concern that the higher price of organics may lead parents to put fewer fruits and vegetables on the table, which is not a good thing.  So they direct pediatricians to help concerned parents be selective, pointing them to tools like that show how much of which pesticide is on what, what type of harm it may cause.  They also provide charts and discuss when it makes most sense to choose organic.

The second report, A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health & intelligence, is from our team here at Pesticide Action Network. Scientists reviewed more than 200 recent studies exploring how pesticides are linked to a range of childhood health harms. We also took a careful look at government data tracking the trends in these diseases and disorders.

We found that today’s children are less healthy than they were a generation ago, and science shows that pesticides are contributing to the trend.  As public health experts are raising the alarm about a “silent pandemic” of learning disabilities and disorders, the science linking neurotoxic pesticides to harm of the developing brain grows stronger and stronger.

While pesticides are certainly not the only driver of these health harms. Scientists agree there are many factors at play, and that there is often a combination of genetics and environmental contaminants involved. Pesticide exposure is a piece of the puzzle that we can do something about!



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