Exposure to Pesticides Lowers IQ in Children

by updated 2011/04/23

Three new studies published this past week indicate that that children of mothers are exposed to common pesticides have a markedly increased risk of lower IQ and other developmental harm.   These children test lower on average on reasoning and memory tests.  Here are links to the abstracts of the three studies.
Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year Old Children
Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates Impairs Cognitive Development
Exposure to the Pesticide Chlorpyrifos Lowers Test Results in 7 Year Old Children

The abstracts are a little technical but hopefully NPR or other large news outlets will get wind of the studies and provide some in-depth analysis for us.  One thing I did note was that, unlike many other studies, these did not limit examination to people like farm workers who may have had unusually high exposure.  Three more great reasons to choose organic food whenever you can!

Will Sig
1 Anthony Vincent Samsel

Rotenone is considered an Organic Botanical pesticide but no longer used in California on Organic crops. Other States should follow suit with this material which is now produced synthetically.
Rotenone has been disguised as safe and sold as a natural product to gardeners for decades
Rotenone is always listed as Rotenone on the product label it’s Federal Law. However it could also be listed as a plant extract as in: Barbasco, Cub, Haiari, Nekoet,etc.
It can be found in flea and tick dusts and sprays for animals, Insecticides for bedbugs etc. Home & Garden pesticides Like Bonide 1% Rotenone, Curex, Duster, Derrin, Cenol Garden Dust and more.
Although this toxic alkaloid has historically been extracted from plants it is now chemically synthesized with many analogs.
Rotenone is known to cause changes in the liver & kidneys. It causes growth retardation, and skeletal deformities. It is toxic to fish and other forms of life.
Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the Mitochondria. Chemical Analogs of Rotenone have been developed as diagnostic tracers for cardiac blood flow. It is doubtful any of these will be adequately tested for health effects. As with most chemicals they will be fast tracked to market.
Rotenone is a specific, high-affinity inhibitor of Complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase), the proximal enzyme of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Since rotenone inhibition defines the activity of Complex I, defects in radiotracer binding can be expected to reflect functional changes in the enzyme, and hence, abnormalities of the mitochondrial energy metabolism.
Observations indicate that rotenone and 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridium (another Complex I inhibitor) produce drug-induced Parkinsonism in rodents and humans suggesting a link between Parkinson’s disease and Complex I function. Complex I malfunction may also be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes.

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2 Cecilia

I am concerned about rotenone because it is being dumped in streams and ponds all over the USA under agreements with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to restore native fish by eradicating all life and then restocking. However, to communicate with the government effectively we need to reference the best available science.

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3 Anthony Vincent Samsel

This pesticide does not wash off, and it does not peel off. It is absorbed into the fruits and vegetables making them TOXIC to insects and YOU! It affects the Thyroid gland and in birds causes soft weak shells like the effects from DDT which Rachel Carson wrote about in ‘Silent Spring’.
It is used on Stone fruits like peaches & the following: Bananas, Grapes, Lettuce, Eggplant, tomatoes, beets, cabbage, & Brassicas, cucumbers, melons, potatoes, Rice, Hops, grains and other food crops as well as cotton and ornamental plants and trees.
Bayer Crop Science Division of Bayer, a multi national corporation markets ‘ IMIDACLOPRID’ Insecticide’ worldwide. This material should not be on the market. It is a systemic pesticide that works similar to the now banned Dupont material Temik. It is absorbed by the plant rendering it toxic to insects. It can spread in groundwater, water runoff from crop applications, drift etc. It renders all parts of the plant toxic including the plants pollen and kills countless numbers of bees annually. It is sold to homeowners in lawn care products to kill grubs as Grubex (Scott products & others) and as a systemic houseplant insecticide. It’s one of the most toxic insecticides to honeybees with a contact acute LD50 = 0.078 ug a.i./bee and an acute oral LD50 = 0.0039 ug a.i./bee.
It is sold commercially as Confidor, Kohinor, Admire, Advantage (Advocate) pet flea & tick, Gaucho, Mallet, Merit, Nuprid, Prothor, Turfthor, Conguard, Hachikusan, Premise, Prothor, Provado and Winner and the Thiacloprid product as Calypso.

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4 Binky

It’s really not that surprising that pesticides and other toxic chemicals have an effect on humans as well as insects. The levels that we’re truly exposed to is probably much greater and more frightening than we’re aware.
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5 Will

Yes you are right, the levels and effects are greater than most are aware of. Also new research is showing just how harmful the interactions between chemicals are. Because we are exposed to so much now, predicting the ill effects is very difficult.

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6 Cecilia

Unless I am mistaken, Rotenone was approved for organic gardening until 2005. Just shows that you need to grow your own food to really know what you are getting. The “organic” label is misleading.
I’d like to know much more about rotenone and any references you can give to peer-reviewed studies would be most appreciated.
Thanks for your efforts.

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7 Hillary

It really is sad that we even need to test for things like this. People and their obsession with having more for less is getting out of hand, what about having the right amount and having it be a quality product. this also goes hand in had with the fact that animals are being beefed up as well and the hormones are said to affect our children. There are some things we all just need to back to baskics on food is one of them.
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8 jr

hi, i’m staying with someone who has put a bunch of bonide garden dust on all the potato plants( just plopped on the powder)a few different occasions or applications. I felt the warning about fish was pretty drastic and didn’t seem right, and now after eating greens (that were next to potato plants ) i have diarhea and low energy. my instincts tell me the run-off( which would kill fish) are going into roots of other plants and are having an effect on them, consequently affecting us.could you please go into this theory and would you recommend not eating anything from this garden now? thank you, jr

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9 Anthony Samsel

What is the chemical name on the Bonide pesticide container ? Is it ‘Sevin’ or Carbaryl ? Bonide makes many products. Copy the label ingredients in your answer.

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10 jr

the active ingredients – pyrethrins .03% , sulfur (4-5 microns) 25 % , copper ( basic copper sulfate) 5 % and the other ingredients make up 69.97 % but are not listed . I was thinking i would skip the plants surrounding potato plants along with the potato . thank you for responding.-jr

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