Exposure to multiple pesticides linked to lower IQ in 7-year-olds

Photo credit: Naotake Murayama

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has found that exposure to multiple neurotoxic pesticides near the homes of pregnant women in farming communities is associated with lower IQs in their children. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley investigated the effect of prenatal exposure to multiple pesticides on children’s IQ later in life. The study combined data from the comprehensive pesticide use data collected by the state of California along with IQ data collected from children in a California farming community and applied advanced modeling and statistical methods to identify and characterize potentially harmful groups of pesticides. They observed that pesticide-use profiles of neurotoxic pesticides used near the homes of pregnant women living in agricultural communities were associated with (FS) IQ deficits in their children. This study is important because most people are typically exposed to more than one chemical at a time. “Our findings also imply that studies investigating the neurodevelopmental effects of current-use agricultural pesticide exposures should analyze the pesticide mixtures as a whole, rather than using the more conventional single pollutant models typically applied,” the authors pointed out.