Pesticides and Pregnancy – What You Should Know

Pesticides are toxic and their possible impact on pregnancies is the matter of ongoing research. The apprehension is that there are so many ways that we are exposed to pesticides that we cannot avoid all of those sources and the possible long term impact of exposure to pesticide while in the womb may be more serious than previously thought.

It goes without saying that pregnant women should avoid pesticides as much as possible, but the American pregnancy association also advises that women should move away from places with high amounts of pesticides at least for the first trimester of pregnancy.

Pesticides and PregnancyStudies have shown that women exposed to pesticides when pregnant have a higher risk of babies with cleft palate, heart problems, limb defects, and even a higher risk of leukemia.

Pregnant women who are reading this should not panic however, because it is concentrated and long term exposure that is likely to cause a problem.

Lead exposure is another problem for pregnant women because lead exposure can lead to pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, miscarriage, developmental delays and so on. Lead in old paint, water pipes and from faucets can pose a problem so water supply in the home should be checked for lead.

A recent study has also linked pesticide exposure to lower IQ in children because of the impact that pesticides can have on brain development. The type and extent of damage that the baby may sustain in the womb may vary however, depending upon the genetic ability of the mother to metabolize the toxins.

In addition pesticides have been linked to higher autism risk as well.  Researchers found that babies conceived in the month of March were more likely to have Autism, and this was seen to have a connection with the amount of pesticide used during that time of year.

The researchers found that there was a 16% higher risk of a baby having Autism if he or she was conceived in March than in July. In addition the risk of Down’s syndrome, and spina bifida was also higher in spring conceived babies.

Yet another possible downside of pesticide exposure is asthma risk, reported the New York Times a while back. Researchers were trying to find the reason for rising Asthma levels when smoking was becoming less common. Possible causes such as traffic pollution, pesticides and plastics were possibly responsible for the increasing rates of Asthma.

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