Pesticides Linked to Developmental Delays

NEW YORK, March 22 (UPI) — Exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos — banned for use in U.S. households — is associated with early childhood developmental delays, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health examined the association between exposure to the pesticide and mental and physical impairments in children in low-income areas of New York neighborhoods in the South Bronx and Northern Manhattan.


Chlorpyrifos was commonly used in these neighborhoods until it was banned for household use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2001, but it is still used as an agricultural pesticide on fruits and vegetables.

After controlling for building dilapidation and community-level factors such as percentage of residents living in poverty, the research indicates that high chlorpyrifos exposure was associated with a 6.5-point decrease in the Psychomotor Development Index score and a 3.3-point decrease in the Mental Development Index score in 3-year-olds.

The findings are published online in the American Journal of Public Health.

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One Response to “Pesticides Linked to Developmental Delays”
  1. Well Duh says:

    Dow has been selling chlorpyrifos with the complete knowledge that this product has very serious health risks. They hid tens of thousands of adverse health complaints and well contaminations. As an example of just how far Dow will go to hide the risks of chlorpyrifos I’ll give you an example. As stated before Dow has hidden thousands of well contaminations but the most disgusting issue is not the hiding of the well contaminations but what Dow did to hide them. Dow created a “Decontamination Procedure for Wells Contaminated with Chlorpyrifos”. The procedure was to immediately super-chlorinate the well. Dow would not take any samples nor would they allow any samples of the well water to be analyzed by their lab. After 24 hours of chlorination and then purging the well, Dow would allow samples to be analyzed. In many cases the well would be deemed to be “decontaminated” according to Dow’s lab. In others Dow would recommend another super-chlorination attempt. These “other” samples usually smelled strongly of chlorpyrifos which has a strong odor and taste. Many times the lab would just destroy the sample and not analyze it because it was detectable by smell.

    This may all sound like Dow was actually being a good guy to some extent in helping to clean up the wells but think again. First, the super-chlorination was actually causing smelly, foul tasting chlorpyrifos to convert into chlorpyrifos oxon, a chemical 3000 times more toxic than chlorpyrifos but it has no odor or taste. Dow knew this was occurring since at least the mid 1980’s but hid it. The EPA and Dow were informed of the problem with Dow’s procedure in the mid 1980’s by the State of Illinois but the EPA did absolutely nothing which allowed Dow to continue to use this procedure on thousands of wells. Dow uses it because it falsely “fixes” what would certainly develop into a media event and certain lawsuit. Poisoned wells would get the attention of the media. Secondly, because they would not analyze the initial well water there would be no “before decontamination” chlorpyrifos levels to report. This allowed Dow to say it was not contaminated and not even report the well. Devious or disgusting?

    Dow internally uses the term “There aren’t any sharp tacks in that box” when the risk of getting caught by the EPA for the things they do is discussed. And, it’s easy to see why!!
    Another hidden problem with chlorpyrifos is volatility. This is even a bigger problem with chlorpyrifos than the wells and the EPA is again caught with their pants down in understanding this problem too. The EPA believes the registrant is actually being honest when they supply data to the EPA. Dow has shown time and again they aren’t honest.

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