Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pediatrician Group Links Pesticides with Child Health Issues

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), in its journal Pediatrics, published an article last week, "Pesticide Exposure in Children," that severely questions the chemical companies' claims that pesticides are harmless. Click here to read the full article, but here's the quick abstract:
"This statement presents the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics on pesticides. Pesticides are a collective term for chemicals intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents. Children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity. Acute poisoning risks are clear, and understanding of chronic health implications from both acute and chronic exposure are emerging. 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. Recognizing and reducing problematic exposures will require attention to current inadequacies in medical training, public health tracking, and regulatory action on pesticides. Ongoing research describing toxicologic vulnerabilities and exposure factors across the life span are needed to inform regulatory needs and appropriate interventions. Policies that promote integrated pest management, comprehensive pesticide labeling, and marketing practices that incorporate child health considerations will enhance safe use."
Also, here's a reaction to the article from Emily Marquez, PhD, a staff scientist and endocrinologist at Pesticide Action Network (PAN):
"Over the past five years, the body of evidence linking pesticide exposure and childhood health harms is growing quickly and becoming increasingly strong.  And as the new AAP report suggests, evidence of pesticides harming the brain and nervous system, and links to certain childhood cancers, are particularly concerning.
"Children are also uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of pesticides. Environments we’d like to consider 'safe' — from the womb to the classroom to the kitchen table — often bring children into contact with harmful pesticides. Quickly growing bodies take in more of everything. An infant takes in about 15 times more water than an adult per pound of body weight, and up to age 12, a child inhales roughly twice as much air."
What are we doing to ourselves, our children, our planet and our future?

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