Children in ag communities with pesticide exposure face learning deficit risk

Photo credit: Sarie Rooms Photo credit: Sarie Rooms

A recent study published in Neurotoxicology supports previous research that children living in agricultural communities are more likely to experience pesticide exposure via household contamination and dust, leading to more learning deficits in those children compared to non-agricultural children. Researchers collected carpet dust samples from agricultural and non-agricultural homes and assessed them for organophosphate pesticide residues. Two hundred six children from those homes underwent tests to assess their neurobehavioral development.  Results showed that dust samples from agricultural homes were more likely to contain organophosphate pesticides and that they were likely to be present in higher concentrations as compared to dust from non-agricultural homes. Researchers also found that children from agricultural households were less likely to improve their neurobehavioral development test scores over time or they improved by a lower margin than for children from non-agricultural households.