Pregnant women cautioned to stay away from Pesticides
If you’re pregnant and live near areas where agricultural pesticides are used, be warned: a study has linked pesticide exposure to increased risk of having a child with autism.
A funded study carried out by the University of California wanted to explore if common pesticides and autism risk for babies inside the womb were associated. The pesticides they studied were:
The researchers used data on pesticide use in areas like farms, rangeland, parks, golf courses and cemeteries. They then compared this data to another study of autism risks that included 1,600 children ages 2–5 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental delay or without these conditions.
They found out that mums who lived within 1.25km of where the pesticides were used during their pregnancy were linked to 60% higher risk of ASD in their child.
Before this causes panic, the researchers pointed out that the study was based in California where pesticide use is at the ‘extreme’ level and may not be the same in other parts of the world. The study also did not establish direct causality between pesticide exposure and ASD.
Previous researches on ASD also maintain that the condition is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors and not one single factor.