Daily News Archive
From June 26, 2002

Playing With Poison Investigates Children's Pesticide Exposure

A recently released video chronicles American anthropologist Elizabeth Guillette's investigation into the harmful side-effects of pesticide exposure on children. Playing with Poison, a 46-minute film, asks many questions about the use of pesticides and the effects they are having on our children, and shows how few answers researchers have to offer.

Dr. Guillette studied the children of the Yaqui Valley, one of Mexico's largest agricultural areas, providing much of North America's fruits and vegetables, and has had high pesticide use since the 1950s. She compared these children to those of a town in the foothills which is nearly identical except it has no agricultural industry and virtually no pesticide use. The children exhibited significant and disturbing neurological differences; the valley children are far behind those of the foothills in physical coordination, energy and learning capabilities.

Playing with Poison follows Dr. Guillette as she meets with eminent laboratory scientists in her search for corroboration and possible solutions. The film also explores the effects of household pesticides and the many ways in which children are exposed to these harmful materials. There has been little research done on the effects of pesticides on humans and her work is slowly breaking new ground.

Playing with Poison originally aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's The Nature of Things. It is now available through Bullfrog Films at http://www.bullfrogfilms.com, or by calling 1.800.543.FROG or
by email at [email protected].

For more information on pesticides and children, please contact Beyond Pesticides.