“Pesticide Regions Linked to Autism” is the title of an article written by Edward Ortiz, in the Sacramento Bee, on June 23rd 2014*. Mr. Ortiz's article goes on to discuss the results of a study published by a team of researchers from UC Davis and their dramatic research findings showing that “pregnant women who live near areas where agricultural pesticides are applied demonstrate a significantly higher risk of delivering children with autism and other developmental delay issues.” The actual study is titled "Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides- The Charge Study** and was conducted by a team of UC Davis researchers and published in Environmental Health Perspectives, on June 3rd, 2014. I provide a link below for anyone interested in reading the study in its entirety. At this point I would like to note that UC Davis is widely known to be one of the leading research universities in the world for agricultural and animal sciences and any study that the university and its scientists put their name on should be treated with all the seriousness that leading scientific experts can bring to any subject. Mr.Ortiz's article is an excellent synopsis of a thirty page scientific study and I quote freely from it, throughout this blog. The studies sobering findings show that” mothers who live within approximately one mile of where agricultural pesticides were applied were found to have a 60% higher risk of having children with any of the spectrum of autism disorders”. The sample study was 970 mothers, who lived in proximity to agricultural areas, and had children between 2 and 5 years old who were diagnosed with autism or developmental delay. Now let's just take a step back for a minute and stop and consider what this means: if you are a pregnant mother and live within one mile of an agricultural area, where poisonous pesticides are applied, you subject your child to a 60% greater risk of developing autism! My first reaction to this was "this cannot possibly be right"? I went on to read the study and unbelievably it is correct and what is even more perplexing, at the moment, is no governmental body, state or federal, seems to be doing anything immediately about it, but that is a subject for another time.
“Pesticide Tied to Drop in Child Lung Function”*** is the title of an article, written by Kevin Schultz, that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 10, 2015. Mr. Schultz’s article is specifically about a University of California at Berkeley research study that was published December 3rd 2015 in the medical journal Thorax and that study was titled “Decreased Lung Function in 7 Year Old Children with Early Life Organophosphate Exposure”**** The conclusion of this study was that “children who had been exposed, at a young age, to organophosphate pesticides, had their lung functions adversely affected”. 279 children, in the agricultural region of the Salinas Valley, were studied, from the age of 6 months, until they reached the age of 5 years. When they then reached the age of 7 their lung function was measured, as determined by the amount of air the children could exhale. The researchers ultimately concluded that the children in this study group experienced an “8% decrease in their ability to exhale air, compared to children not exposed to organophosphate pesticides”. Further conclusions of the researchers were that “in order to keep their children safer farmworkers should remove their work clothes and shoes before entering their homes, keep their children away from fields being sprayed and thoroughly wash all produce before consumption.”
The specific pesticides that were the subject of these studies fell into four groups, that are generally referred to as "organophosphates". I will only touch on two of them because they are the most commonly used. I always find it rather distressingly ironic that an industry group, like the poisonous pesticide industry, is permitted to refer to their product as an "organophosphate"; when I see a word begin with "organo" I immediately think of safe and pure and the fact is the substances in question are anything but. The most common pesticide used in agricultural application is called chlorpyrifos and fifteen years ago the EPA banned it for home use, due to its toxicity and potential to cause neurological effects. Unfortunately the UC Davis study proves that this poison should not only have been banned for home use, it should also have been banned, for use, within a mile of anyone’s home. It certainly also raises the question of the potential harm to their unborn children, waiting for those pregnant agricultural workers in the fields where chlorpyrifos has been sprayed?The second most commonly used pesticide is called pyrethroids and this poison has been linked to respiratory ailments, heart palpitations and nausea in farmworkers. It has also shown to disrupt the endocrine system of lab animals. The UC Davis study shows a direct link between pyrethrin exposure and the development of autism disorders, in children. The later Berkeley study simply adds to the body of knowledge regarding the devastating potential effects of this pesticide and proves definite harm resulting to the young children of agricultural workers.
We now arrive at the point where it is fair to ask what do these scientific studies, or this article for that matter, have to do with the grand majority of us who do not live anywhere in proximity to an agricultural region, where poisonous pesticides are being utilized? My articles title is "READ THIS BEFORE MAKING YOUR HOME A PESTICIDE REGION!" So how can your home possibly be a pesticide region? Well the fact is if you are using any of the common brands of poisonous insect sprays, pet flea treatment sprays or head lice sprays, which all contain pyrethroids, and spraying them inside your home you have just turned your home into a pesticide region. This poison might not always be the exact one being used agriculturally, but to put it into terms we can all understand it is fair to say "same church different pew! The UC Davis study was clear on the devastating effects of pyrethroids on pregnant women and that study demonstrated this poisons effect from one mile away. The UC Berkeley study covered similar ground, but on young children not unborn ones. Now imagine spraying this inside your home, where we are not talking about a mile, but rather yards and feet! Anyone who would actually read the UC Davis study, or the Berkeley study, would probably be unwilling to even touch a spray can of these pyrethroid based insecticides ever again.
One fact, for certain, that does not change is those of us dealing with cockroach, flea, or head lice issues, still need to safely solve these dilemmas. It always give me great pleasure to state that all Dr Greengood’s products are 100% non-toxic to humans, pets and the environment ! They begin the onset of insect mortality, within minutes, safely and effectively. Equally important is that we are proud to say that Dr Greengood. has independent third party testing certification, from one of America's most prestigious testing laboratories, certifying its safety and efficacy. In other words the American Academy of Entomological Science says Dr. Greengood does what we claim and is as safe as we say it is. Dr Greengood completely eliminates the need to use poisonous insect sprays and treatments, ever again, in your home.
*The Sacramento Bee, 6/23/14, Pesticide Regions Linked to Autism, Edward Ortiz
** Enviornmental Health Perspectives, 6/3/14, Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides-The Charge Study, Janie F. Shelton, Estella M. Geraghty, Daniel J. Tancredi, Lora D. Delwiche, Rebecca J. Schmidt, Beate Ritz, Robin L. Hansen, and Irva Hertz-Picciotto,http://dx.doi/10.1289/ehp.1307044
***The San FranciscoChronicle, 12/10/15, Pesticide Tied To Drop In Child Lung Function, Kevin Schultz
****Decreased Lung Function In 7 Year Old Children With Early-Life Organophosphate Exposure, 9/15/15, Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health-UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Dr. Rachel Raanan