Health
Study finds link between pesticides and autism
Publish Date: Jun 23, 2014
Study finds link between pesticides and autism
A Ugandan woman sprays her garden with a pesticide. Miles away in the US state of California, researchers have found a link between pregnant women living near farms where pesticides are apllied and autism. PHOTO/File
  • mail
  • img
newvision

WASHINGTON - A California study out Monday found that pregnant women who lived near farms where pesticides are applied had a two-thirds higher risk of having children with autism.

The findings in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives examine the association between living near commercial pesticide applications and having offspring with autism, but do not show cause-and-effect.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that ranges in severity and has been on the rise in recent years. Health authorities say it now affects as many as one in 68 children in the United States.

The latest research was based on data about commercial pesticide applications in California, combined with residential addresses of about 1,000 participants in a study of families with an autistic child.

"We mapped where our study participants' lived during pregnancy and around the time of birth," said principal investigator Irva Hertz-Picciotto, vice chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at University of California, Davis.

California law requires detailed records on what kinds of pesticides are applied, where and when and how much.

"What we saw were several classes of pesticides more commonly applied near residences of mothers whose children developed autism or had delayed cognitive or other skills."

About one-third of study participants lived within 1.25 to 1.75 kilometers (about a mile) from a site where commercial pesticides were applied.

Researchers found risks of autism were highest when the chemicals were applied during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

The study authors said the developing fetal brain may be particularly vulnerable to pesticides.

"This study validates the results of earlier research that has reported associations between having a child with autism and prenatal exposure to agricultural chemicals in California," said lead study author Janie Shelton, a UC Davis graduate student.

"While we still must investigate whether certain sub-groups are more vulnerable to exposures to these compounds than others, the message is very clear: Women who are pregnant should take special care to avoid contact with agricultural chemicals whenever possible."

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
UN Ebola head warns against complacency
The head of the UN''s Ebola fighting force warns against complacency as the battle against the disease enters its final lap....
All health workers must be vaccinated against HBV
The ministry of health has launched new rules, making it compulsory for all health workers to be vaccinated against hepatitis B virus (HBV)....
Ebola virus has mutated less than scientists feared
The Ebola virus is not mutating as quickly as scientists had feared, which is good news for treating the disease and preventing its spread....
Korea pledges sh25b to reduce maternal mortality
THE Government of South Korea and UNICEF Uganda have signed an agreement that will see the former give to the latter for taming the high maternal and new-born mortality in Karamoja and Acholi...
Latest Ebola trial vaccine
The latest in a string of candidate vaccines against the deadly Ebola virus is proven safe in an early trial....
New tool to predict heart attack/stroke risk
A new instrument will allow you to determine your risk simply by inputting your age, gender, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers....
Should police arrest parents who do not take their children to school?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter