I love sharing important new studies with you when they pop up. Even—and maybe especially—research on connections that you and I have known about for a long, long time. (But that, for some reason, mainstream scientists are just catching onto now.)
And this latest study? Well I’d say it’s about as urgent as they come.
So let me just cut to the chase. There’s new evidence to suggest that exposure to organophosphates—a common type of pesticide—may increase a pregnant woman’s risk of giving birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or developmental delays.
This study identified an insidious connection: For one thing, mothers with children who were eventually diagnosed with autism or developmental delays were more likely to live near areas treated with commercial pesticides. (One third of this study’s participants lived within a mile of these sites.)
In fact, the kids with ASD were 60 percent more likely to have had commercial pesticides applied near their homes.
And we’re talking about some of the most commonly used pesticides for both commercial and home use. They’re all over non-organic food. And they’re staple ingredients in popular name-brand insect killing sprays.
But they’re not the only common chemicals that are dangerous during pregnancy. Exposure to another class of pesticides called carbamates raised kids’ later risk of developmental delays by a whopping 150 percent.
I can’t possibly be the only one who’s horrified by these statistics. Commercial farmers pour upwards of 200 million pounds of pesticides onto the soil every year… in California alone.
And proximity to one of these farms isn’t the only way you could be exposed to this threat. Sadly, a lot of these substances eventually make their way into your drinking water, too.
The fact is, chemicals have become a big part of our lives. And we’re just starting to understand the consequences. Like the fact that their influence grabs hold before you even take your first breath.
Throughout the gestational period, the brain is developing and learning how to work. Throw a few toxic chemicals into the mix and it’s a disaster just waiting to happen.
And unfortunately, this isn’t just a theoretical problem. The average infant has close to 300 chemicals found in his cord blood. And more than 2/3 of those chemicals are known neurotoxins.
Is it any wonder so many little ones suffer from autism today? I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would think that these two things don’t go hand in hand.
And the evidence is mounting. This is the third study to show a link between autism and pesticides. So when do you think our government will step in and do something about it?
Just how many children have to wind up with autism—or worse—in order for the authorities charged with protecting our health do what’s right? And finally stand up against the companies making these lethal chemicals and force them to stop.
Until then, manufacturers and even the EPA will continue to tell you that commercial pesticides are perfectly safe… when obviously they’re anything but. So it’s up to you to protect yourself and your family the best you can.
It goes without saying that buying organic produce is one of the most vital things anyone—and especially pregnant women—can do. And making careful choices with household products is another crucial step.
The Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org) is a valuable public resource when it comes to weeding dangerous chemicals of any kind out of your home. In fact, they’re the people behind the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists that make the rounds every year.
Buying organic and choosing household products wisely won’t completely eliminate the threat that pesticides pose entirely. But even the smallest steps away from these killer chemicals are steps in the right direction.
“Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study.” Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Jun 23.
“The pollution in newborns: A benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood,” Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.com), 7/14/05