Health effects of pesticide exposure may be passed on to your children

Photo Credit:  Minami Himemiya Photo Credit: Minami Himemiya

A recent Environmental Health Perspectives publication details the effects that exposure to environmental pollutants can have over multiple generations, even when those later generations are not exposed to the initial pollutant. Chemical exposure not only can affect the exposed individuals, but also their fetal offspring, and even the germ cells developing within those offspring, which will mature into sperm and egg cells. These trans-generational effects of exposure to pollutants can cause consequence that may not surface for several generations. This means that research about health problems associated with pesticide exposure must be more extensive to identify possible trans-generational effects. “We have to think more long-term about the effects of chemicals that we’re exposed to every day,” states Lisa Chadwick, a program administrator at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), “This new research suggests they could have consequences not just for our own health and for that of our children, but also for the health of generations to come.”