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Prenatal Exposure to Insecticide Chlorpyrifos Linked to Alterations in Brain Structure and Cognition

Health & Wellness  (tags: POISON, GOVERNMENT, COVER-UP, illness, safety, children, science )

- 2179 days ago -
While chlorpyrifos is no longer registered for household use in the US, it continues to be widely used around the world, as well as on many food and agricultural products throughout the US.

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Barbara W (342)
Monday April 30, 2012, 9:27 pm
Excerpt: "Even low to moderate levels of exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos during pregnancy may lead to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain structure of the child, according to a new brain imaging study by researchers from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Duke University Medical Center, Emory University, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. The changes in brain structure are consistent with cognitive deficits found in children exposed to this chemical.
Results of the study appear online in the April 30 PNAS.

The new study is the first to use MRI to identify the structural evidence for these cognitive deficits in humans, confirming earlier findings in animals. Changes were visible across the surface of the brain, with abnormal enlargement of some areas and thinning in others. The disturbances in brain structure are consistent with the IQ deficits previously reported in the children with high exposure levels of chlorpyrifos, or CPF, suggesting a link between prenatal exposure to CPF and deficits in IQ and working memory at age 7.

The study also reports evidence that CPF may eliminate or reverse the male-female differences that are ordinarily present in the brain. Further study is needed to determine the consequences of these changes before and after puberty, the researchers say.

Notably, the brain abnormalities appeared to occur at exposure levels below the current EPA threshold for toxicity, which is based on exposures high enough to inhibit the action of the key neurological enzyme cholinesterase. The present findings suggest that the mechanism underlying structural changes in the brain may involve other pathways.

According to the lead author, Virginia Rauh, ScD, Professor at the Mailman School of Public Health and Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, "By measuring a biomarker of CPF exposure during pregnancy, and following the children prospectively from birth into middle childhood, the present study provides evidence that the prenatal period is a vulnerable time for the developing child, and that toxic exposure during this critical period can have far-reaching effects on brain development and behavioral functioning."

"By combining brain imaging and community-based research, we now have much stronger evidence linking exposure to chlorpyrifos with neurodevelopmental problems," adds senior author Bradley S. Peterson, MD, Chief of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Director of MRI Research in the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center.

In the current study, the researchers used MRI to evaluate the brains of 40 New York City children, ages 5 to 11, whose mothers were enrolled prenatally in a larger cohort study. Researchers compared 20 children with high exposures to CPF with 20 children with lower exposures; all exposures occurred prior to the EPA ban on household use of the chemical in 2001. They found brain anomalies were associated with the higher exposure." More at link...

Susan V (80)
Monday April 30, 2012, 9:40 pm
In the late 1990s I collected information on pesticide use in NC public schools and colleges (including collected Material safety date sheets, show risks, manufacturers, etc). I found most still spraying chlorpyrifos (usually Dursban) indoors in schools, sometimes while students were present.
I also found that one manufacturer of nerve toxic (neurotoxic) pesticides used in schools, was partnered with Novartis, the maker of Ritalin.
I do not think that was a coincidence. It concerns me deeply that not only did schools routinely use such poisons, but that this kind of conflict of interest was never investigated or stopped to my knowledge -- it still goes on in many forms today.


Bianca D (87)
Monday April 30, 2012, 9:54 pm
It's as if we were trying to exterminate ourselves.
It's time to create the world we want to live in.
Tx Barbara.
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