Exposures to the insecticide chlorpyrifos in pregnancy adversely affect child development

that the residential ban on chlorpyrifos use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been effective at reducing blood levels of the insecticide.

"Our findings have important public health significance," said Robin Whyatt, DrPH, senior author on the study. "Prior to the ban, chlorpyrifos was one of the most widely used insecticides for residential pest control across the United States. Despite a recent regulatory ban on residential use of chlorpyrifos in the U.S., agricultural applications continue in the U.S. and abroad."

Frederica Perera, DrPH, director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health noted that, "By identifying environmental exposures that adversely effect fetal development and also affect children's ability to learn, the research provides new opportunities for prevention. However, protection of children's health and development would be best served by thorough testing of chemicals before they are marketed."

The investigators controlled for other exposures that might have contributed to developmental problems such as socioeconomic factors and exposure to tobacco smoke, lead, and other environmental contaminants.


Contact: Stephanie Berger
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

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