Health Effects of Pesticides in Children

Perception: Pesticide residues in foods do not cause chronic health conditions in children.

Reality: Multiple peer reviewed studies link glyphosate and other pesticides found in foods commonly eaten by children to many of the autoimmune illnesses, conditions, and diseases children suffer from today that were virtually unheard of a generation ago.

Key Points:

*p.15 "At publication, the database lists 41 studies linking pesticides to asthma."

*p.15 "At publication, the database lists 260 studies linking pesticides to various forms of cancer."

*p.16 "According to the American Brain Tumor Association, brain tumors are the most common of the solid tumors in children, and the second most frequent malignancy of childhood."

*p.16 "At publication, the database lists 30 studies linking pesticides to brain cancer."

*p.18 "Studies show children's developing organs create "early windows of great vulnerability" during which exposure to pesticides can cause great damage."

*p.18 "At publication, the database list 26 studies linking pesticides to learning and developmental disorders."

*p.19 "More than 50 pesticide active ingredients have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the European Union and endocrine disruptor expert Theo Colborn, PhD. Endocrine disruption is the mechanism for several health effect endpoints."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Lagan Owens, Jay Feldman, and John Kepler. (2010, Summer). Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides. Retrieved from https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/health/pid-database.pdf

Key Points:

*"The most common way most infants, children and adults are exposed to pesticides is by eating them on and in our food."

*"Fetuses, infants, growing children, pregnant and nursing mothers, and women of childbearing age are most at risk for adverse health outcomes from exposure to pesticides. Children are more at risk than adults because children eat more relative to their body weight than adults eat. Exposures during vulnerable periods of development can be particularly dangerous. These vulnerable periods include fetal
development, infancy, early childhood, and puberty."

*"The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes the Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce that identifies what types of produce are most likely to be contaminated with pesticides.2 EWG recommends eating organic versions of these ‘Dirty Dozen’ fruits and vegetables: apples, celery, sweet bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, nectarines (imported), grapes, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, blueberries (domestic), and potatoes. In addition, EWG recommends organic green beans and kale. It is worth noting that pesticide residues can also be found in fruit and vegetable juices.

*"Studies have found that children who eat conventional diets have significantly higher levels of OP pesticide metabolites in their urine than do children who eat organic diets.4"

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Source:

Center For Ecogenics & Environmental Health, Health Risks of Pesticides in Food. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://depts.washington.edu/ceeh/downloads/FF_Pesticides.pdf

Key Points:

*"Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have spread throughout the global environment to threaten human health and damage ecosystems, with evidence of POPs contamination in wildlife, human blood, and breast milk documented worldwide."

*"The available information indicates that POPs residues are present in virtually all categories of foods, including baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dairy products."

*"Residues of five or more persistent toxic chemicals in a single food item are not unusual, with the most commonly found POPs being the pesticides DDT (and its metabolites, such as DDE) and dieldrin."

*"Our findings indicate that the US food supply is contaminated with levels of POPs chemicals that result in exposures at or above the health based standards."

*"Children eat disproportionately more of certain foods on a pound for pound body weight basis than does an average weight adult male. In addition, young children’s bodies are engaged in a multitude of hormone directed developmental processes that are uniquely susceptible to disruption from POPs chemicals. Proportionately larger exposures and unique susceptibilities combine to make developing children much more vulnerable to the adverse effects of POPs than adults."

*"Health based thresholds are established for individual chemicals, while actual diets may include PCB residues in a fish fillet, dieldrin in a serving of zucchini, and dioxin in an ice cream cone. Because these organochlorine chemicals often have similar types of adverse health effects (see below), the sum of the adverse effects of exposures to combinations of chemicals will be greater than that for exposure to a single chemical."

*" Because many POPs chemicals exhibit similar modes of action on the human body, the health effects resulting from exposure to multiple chemicals can be substantially greater than those resulting from exposure to a single chemical." 

*"Given the widespread occurrence of POPs in the food supply and the serious health risks associated with even extremely small levels of exposure to POPs, prevention of further food contamination must be a national health policy priority in every country."

Read Full Article: 

Source:

K S Schafer, S E Kegley. (2002, November 1). Retrieved from (pdf file): https://jech.bmj.com/content/jech/56/11/813.full.pdf (and from article): https://jech.bmj.com/content/56/11/813

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Key Points:

*p.1 "Pesticides can enter the body orally (through the mouth and digestive system), dermally (through the skin), or by inhalation (through the nose and respiratory system)."

"Oral exposure may occur because of an accident, but is more likely to occur as the result of carelessness, such as blowing out a plugged nozzle; smoking or eating without washing your hands after using a pesticide; or eating food that has been recently sprayed with a pesticide."

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Source:

Brad Kard, Kevin Shelton, Charles Luper. Oklahoma State University, Pesticide Applicator Certification Series Toxicity of Pesticides. Retrieved from http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-3591/EPP-7457web.pdf

Key Points:

*p.3 "2, 4-D is highly toxic and has been linked to increased incidence of cancer and damage to reproductive systems."

"Glyphosate is the most used active ingredient in pesticides used within the U.S. agriculture sector, and has been for the most recent six years of EPA data."

*p.4 "Chronic exposure to glyphosate is known to cause kidney damage, neurological impairment, and negative reproductive health effects."

"Because they eat and drink more than adults in proportion to their body weight, children receive higher doses of toxic chemicals when exposed to pesticides in their surrounding environment, or through food and water."

*p.4-5 "Prenatal and early childhood exposure is especially hazardous, as internal organs are still developing, are less able to detoxify chemicals, and therefore more vulnerable to toxic exposures."

*p.5 "Pesticides that affect the endocrine system like glyphosate are particularly dangerous for children, as they disrupt the glands and hormones that facilitate regular growth and development."

*p.6 "A 2010 study by AAP found that children exposed to organophosphate pesticides are more likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD."

*p.6 "In 2008 the International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health published a study which found an association between childhood pesticide exposure and neurodevelopmental and behavioral impairments."

*p.7 "Both 2, 4-D and glyphosate have been linked to disruption of the endocrine system."

"At doses lower than what is commonly applied in agriculture, Roundup causes endocrine disruption and cell death in human liver cells, within 24 hours of introduction."

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Source:

Midwest Pesticide Action Center, Human Health and Pesticides: Glyphosate and 2, 4-D. (2015). Retrieved from http://midwestpesticideaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/MPAC_WhitePaper-final-12.11.15.pdf

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Key Points:

*p.2 "Whenever glyphosate enters our bodies, it destroys the bacteria in our gut, which in turn, impairs our immune system."

*p.2 "Pretending to be the amino acid Glycine, [glyphosate] can cross the blood-brain barrier and start interfering in our brain chemistry."

Read Full Article:

Source:

White, Greg. (2016). How Glyphosate Kills Plants – And Your Immune System. Retrieved from http://glyphosate.news/glyphosatenews/2016-06-17-how-glyphosate-kills-plants-and-your-immune-system.html

Key Points:

*p.1 "Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the most popular herbicide used in the world."

"Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy, and wheat."

"Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body."

"Consequences are most of the disease and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Samsel, Anthony and Senegal, Stephanie. (2013, April 18). Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases. Retrieved from http://chem-tox.com/agriculture/articles/Glyphosate%20&%20Autism_MIT.pdf#page=1

Key Points:

*"Health Effects of 30 Commonly Used Pesticides : Cancer, Endocrine Disruption, Reproductive Effects, Neurotoxicity, Kidney/Liver Damage, Sensitizer/ Irritant, Birth Defects"

*Herbicides: 2,4-D, Benfluralin, Bensulide, Clopyralid, Dicamba, Diquat Dibromide, Dithiopyr, Fluazipop-p-butyl,    Glyphosate, Imazapyr, Isoxaben, Mecroprop (MCPP), Pelargonic Acid, Pendimethalin, Triclopyr, Trifluralin

*Insecticides: Acephate,  Bifenthrin, Carbaryl, Fipronil, Imidacloprid, Malathion, Permethrin, Trichlorfon

*Fungicides: Azoxystrobin, Myclobutanil, Propiconazole, Sulfur, Thiophanate, methyl, Ziram

Read Full Article:

Source:

Beyond Pesticides Factsheet, Health Effects of 30 Commonly Used Pesticides. (2015, May). Retrieved from https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/lawn/factsheets/30health.pdf

 

Key Points: 

*"There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates."

*"Children may be exposed more to certain pesticides because often they eat different foods than adults."

*"Adverse effects of pesticide exposure range from mild symptoms of dizziness and nausea to serious, long-term neurological, developmental and reproductive disorders. Americans use more than a billion pounds of pesticides each year to combat pests on farm crops, in homes, places of business, schools, parks, hospitals, and other public places.

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Source:

U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticides: Topical & Chemical Fact Sheets, Children Are at Greater Risks from Pesticide Exposure. (2002, January). Retrieved from https://archive.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/laws/fqpa/web/html/kidpesticide.html

Key Points:

*”Children exposed to higher levels of a type of pesticide found in trace amounts on commercially grown fruit and vegetables are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder than children with less exposure, a nationwide study suggests.
*”Researchers measured the levels of pesticide byproducts in the urine of 1,139 children from across the United States. Children with above-average levels of one common byproduct had roughly twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD, according to the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics. Exposure to the pesticides, known as organophosphates, has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems in children in the past, but previous studies have focused on communities of farm workers and other high-risk populations. This study is the first to examine the effects of exposure in the population at large.
Organophosphates are "designed" to have toxic effects on the nervous system, says the lead author of the study, Maryse Bouchard, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of environmental and occupational health at the University of Montreal. "That's how they kill pests."The pesticides act on a set of brain chemicals closely related to those involved in ADHD, Bouchard explains, "so it seems plausible that exposure to organophosphates could be associated with ADHD-like symptoms."”

Read Full Article:

Source:

Klein, Sarah. (2010, May 17). Study: ADHD linked to Pesticide Exposure. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/17/pesticides.adhd/index.html

Key Points:

*"For half a century, U.S. staple foods such as corn, wheat, apples and citrus have been sprayed with chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that can damage the developing brains of children, causing reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders."

*"Chlorpyrifos is acutely toxic and associated with neurodevelopmental harms in children."

Read Full Article:

Source:

EarthJustice, Chlorpyrifos The toxic pesticide now harming our children and environment. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://earthjustice.org/features/what-you-need-to-know-about-chlorpyrifos

Key Points:

*"About 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network."

*"Children and adolescents with ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without ASD by $4,110–$6,200 per year. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with ASD were 4.1–6.2 times greater than for those without ASD."

*"In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Data & Statistics. (2018, November 15). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html

Key Points:

*"Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 59 births. (CDC, 2018)"

*"Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)"

*"Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010. (Based on biennial numbers from the CDC)"

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Source:

AutismSociety, Facts and Statistics. (2015, August 26). Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/facts-and-statistics/

Key Points:

*"The percentage of total public school enrollment that represents children served by federally supported special education programs increased from 8.3 percent to 13.8 percent between 1976–77 and 2004–05.

*"The percentage of children identified as having other health impairments (limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes) rose from 1.1 to 1.7 percent of total public school enrollment, the percentage with autism rose from 0.4 to 1.1 percent, and the percentage with developmental delay rose from 0.7 to 0.8 percent."

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Source:

National Center for Education Statistics, Fast Facts, Students With disabilities. (2016). Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=64

 

Key Points:

*"From learning disabilities to autism, diabetes and cancer, a startling number of childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise. Children are sicker today than they were a generation ago."

*"In short, children are absorbing a higher load of pesticides at a time when their bodies are still developing, and are thus least equipped to protect themselves."

*"Children should not be battling cancer, period. Yet more and more are doing exactly that, and government data confirms that U.S. childhood cancer rates are higher than ever before, and climbing."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Pesticide Action Network, Human Health Harms Children. (no date listed). Retrieved from http://www.panna.org/human-health-harms/children

Key Points:

*"Pesticides are a collective term for chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents."

*”Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates associations between early life exposure to pesticides and pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems. Related animal toxicology studies provide supportive biological plausibility for these findings.”

*"Beyond acute poisoning, the influences of low-level exposures on child health are of increasing concern."

*"For many children, diet may be the most influential source, as illustrated by an intervention study that placed children on an organic diet (produced without pesticide) and observed drastic and immediate decrease in urinary excretion of pesticide metabolites.10"

*"Dosing experiments in animals clearly demonstrate the acute and chronic toxicity potential of multiple pesticides."

*"Chronic toxicity end points identified in epidemiologic studies include adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth, low birth weight, and congenital anomalies, pediatric cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, and asthma."

*"The evidence base is most robust for associations to pediatric cancer and adverse neurodevelopment. Multiple case-control studies and evidence reviews support a role for insecticides in risk of brain tumors and acute lymphocytic leukemia."

*"Prospective contemporary birth cohort studies in the United States link early-life exposure to organophosphate insecticides with reductions in IQ and abnormal behaviors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism." 

Read Full Article:

Source:

American Academy of Pediatrics, Policy Statement, Pesticide Exposure in a Children. (2012, December). Retrieved from (pdf): http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/130/6/e1757.full.pdf. and (website: Council on Environmental Health): http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757

Key Points:

*"Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide used in agriculture primarily on cotton, oranges, corn, and almonds, among many other crops."

*"Exposures also result from eating food contaminated with chlorpyrifos residues."

*"Chlorpyrifos is found in particularly high levels in children."

*"Children (6–11 years) showed levels almost twice as high as those of adults. Chronic exposure levels were 4.6 times the “acceptable” level for children and 3.0 times the “acceptable” level for youth (12–19 years)."

*"The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) lists all organophosphates generally and chlorpyrifos specifically as capable of causing asthma in previously unaffected individuals."

*"Exposure can also exacerbate asthmatic symptoms in individuals who already have the disease."

*"In addition to acute symptoms, many recent studies indicate that low-level exposure to chlorpyrifos interferes with the development of the mammalian nervous system."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Pesticide Action Network, Chlorpyrifos Factsheet. (2006, October). Retrieved from https://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/ChlorpyrifosFactsheet2006.pdf

Key Points;

*"The health risks to children are significant. Even small amounts of pesticides may alter a child’s brain chemistry during critical stages of development."

*"One study of 8- to 15-year-olds found that those with the highest urinary levels of a marker for exposure to a particularly toxic class of pesticides called organophosphates (OPs) had twice the odds of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as those with undetectable levels."

*"Rinsing can remove the surface residues, as well as dirt and bacteria. But you can’t completely wash away the pesticides—or the risk. Pesticides can stick to soft skins, and the wax coating used on some produce can trap pesticide residues. And some pesticides are systemic, that is they are taken up by the plant’s root system and get into the fruit or vegetable flesh so they can’t be washed off."

*"What’s more, the USDA measures pesticide residues after produce has been rinsed in cold running water and/or inedible peels and rinds are removed. So the pesticide residues used to calculate our dietary risk guide are those that remain after the fruit or vegetable has been prepped the way you would at home."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Consumer Reports, Eat the Peach, Not the Pesticide. (2015, March 19). Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/natural-health/pesticides/index.htm

Key Points:

Journal of Pesticide Reform: Dicamba Factsheet:

Key Points:

*”Dicamba also inhibits an enzyme found in the nervous system of most animals, acetyl- cholinesterase.12”

*” In addition, dicamba inhibits the activity of several enzymes in animal livers that detoxify and excrete foreign chemicals.13”

*”Feeding dicamba to rats for 90 days caused decreases in weight and in the amount of food consumed. Increased dead cells and abnormal live cells were found in exposed rats’ livers.17”

*”Dicamba’s effects on the reproduction of laboratory animals cause concern because of the low doses that cause problems. In rabbits, the most sensitive species tested, doses over 3 mg/kg per day increased the number of fetuses lost or resorbed by the mother.20”

*”A 1990 study showed that injections of dicamba significantly increased the “unwinding rate” (single strand breaks) of the genetic material (DNA; deoxyribonucleic acid) in rat livers.”

*”Humans are exposed to dicamba while they or their neighbors are using the herbicide in the yard or garden, while using it on the job, through drinking of contaminated water, and through eating contaminated food. The result is that large numbers of Americans are contaminated with dicamba.”

*”In humans, exposure to dicamba is associated with the inhibition of the nervous system enzyme acetylcholinesterase and an increased frequency of a cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

*”In laboratory animals, exposure to dicamba has caused decreases in body weight, liver damage, an increased frequency of fetal loss, and severe, sometimes irreversible eye damage. Dicamba has caused genetic damage in human blood cells, bacteria, and barley.”

*”Dicamba can be contaminated with cancer-causing nitrosamines and a dioxin which has been shown to cause birth defects and several cancers in laboratory animals.”

Read Full Article:

Source:

Cox, Caroline. (1994, Spring). Herbicide Factsheet, Dicamba, Journal of Pesticide Reform. Retrieved from https://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/dicamba-NCAP.pdf

 

Key Points:

*”Over the last 12 years, the

*"Prevalence of DDs has increased 17.1%—that’s about 1.8 million more children with DDs in 2006–2008 compared to a decade earlier;"

*"Prevalence of autism increased 289.5%;"

*"Prevalence of ADHD increased 33.0%"

*"Children from families with income below the federal poverty level had a higher prevalence of DDs."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Boyle CA, Boulet S, Schieve L, Cohen RA, Blumberg SJ, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Visser S, Kogan MD. Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children, 1997–2008. Pediatrics. 2011 [epub ahead of print]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/features/birthdefects-dd-keyfindings.html

Key Points:

Chapter 21 Chronic Effects:

*p. 220 "Associations between Childhood Cancer and Pesticides"

"Relationships between childhood cancers and pesticides were summarized in two review articles, the first by Zahm and Ward in 1998, and an update published in 2007 by Infante-Rivard. The pediatric cancer types with the most compelling evidence for an association with pesticides are leukemia and brain tumors.

*p.226”Organophosphates appear to have mechanisms that could impact the development or exacerbation of asthma. Toxicological studies demonstrated that subcutaneous injection of the organophosphates chlorpyrifos, diazinon and parathion caused airway hyper reactivity in guinea pigs via inhibition of M2 muscarinic receptors.135,136”

Read Full Article:

Source:

EPA, Chapter 21 Chronic Effects. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/rmpp_6thed_ch21_chroniceffects.pdf

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