Daily News Archive
Finds Pesticide Affects Fetal Development
A recent study by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found that prenatal exposure to the commonly used pesticide chlorpyrifos adversely affects fetal development, according to Ascribe. The researchers examined 250 non-smoking African American and Dominican women in the New York City area for prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos by measuring levels of the pesticide in the umbilical cord of the newborn. The results associated chlorpyrifos presence with decreased birth weight and birth length for both African Americans and Dominicans.
Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate, was recently phased out for residential uses. However, according to CCCEH director Dr. Frederica Perera, "Until recently, chlorpyrifos was one of the most heavily applied pesticide throughout New York State and Manhattan in recent years." The research team will continue to examine the newborns as they grow older in order to examine the effects of the birth outcomes.
A 1996 study of children
exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero found that extensive and unusual patterns
of birth defects, including brain, nervous system, eyes, ears, palate,
teeth, heart, feet, nipples, and genitalia. Published literature and EPA
documents contain reports that identify similarities in defects found
in test animals and children exposed to chlorpyrifos.