Pesticides, especially organophosphates (OPs), cause the lowness of the IQ of children at seven years old, that is the researches’ results of three recent studies on children exposed to OPs in the womb have a lower IQ at seven years than those that have not. The three studies were held in University of California Berkeley, the Columbia University and Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
Although the use of two OPs been prevented indoors over the past decade because of health risks, but they are still approved for use as a pesticides in the agriculture of inorganic food crops.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health enrolled women in the study during their pregnancy. During pregnancy and post-birth up to five years old, mothers and 329 children participated in a number of surveys and questionnaires developed to measure health and development. Urine samples were taken to measure presence of dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites, the breakdown product of about 75 percent of the organophosphorus insecticides in use in the US.
Using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (testing verbal comprehension, perceptual reasoning, working memory and processing speed), it was found that for every tenfold increase in the measures of organophosphates detected during pregnancy, reduced cognitive abilities and on average a 5.5 drop in intelligence scores was measured in children up to seven years. In fact, children that were exposed to the highest levels of organophosphates compared seven points lower.
The Berkeley researchers have voiced concerns that people are already not eating enough fruit and vegetables and so recommend:
*Reducing pesticide use at home.
*Washing fruit and vegetables with a soft brush before cooking or eating.
*Consider buying organic where possible.
Scientists at Mt. Sinai Medical Center also sampled pesticide metabolites in maternal urine.
While the scientists at Columbia University sampled levels of another pesticide, chlorpyrifos in umbilical blood.
They supported the suggestion that prenatal exposure to pesticides leading to lower intelligence in children under seven years. Furthermore the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) found a correlation between prenatal pesticide exposure and attention problems in five year olds last year.