Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows benefits to newborns from federal ban on insecticides

25.03.2004


A federal ban on two insecticides has resulted in a significant reduction in their impact on newborns’ birth weight and length, according to a new study funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other private foundations.



The results of the study - the first one to demonstrate the benefits of the ban during pregnancy in human subjects - will be published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the monthly peer-reviewed journal of the NIEHS. It is now available online at http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov.

The study, released by the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health, part of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, measured the impact on fetal growth of two insecticides - chlorpyrifos and diazinon - whose use in households was banned by the federal government starting in 2000. The insecticides had been among the most commonly-used agents for residential pest control.


In the study, researchers measured the levels of the two insecticides in blood drawn from the umbilical cords after delivery, both before and after the ban, and correlated those levels with the babies’ birth weight and length. All blood samples were frozen and stored at -70 degrees Centigrade in order to ensure the stability of the pesticides. Subsequent analyses were performed on frozen samples at three different times -- spring 2001, summer 2002 and fall 2002.

They found that prior to January 2001, newborns with combined insecticide exposures in the highest 26th percentile had birth weights averaging almost 200 grams (almost half a pound) less than infants with no detectable pesticide levels. The researchers also noted a highly significant inverse association between the combined exposures and newborn birth length. However, when they looked at the relationship between insecticide exposures and fetal growth after January 2001, the exposure levels had been reduced substantially, and the impact on weight and length was no longer apparent.

"This human study confirms the developmental impact, shown previously in animal studies, of these insecticides," said Dr. Robin M. Whyatt, an Assistant Professor at the Mailman School and principal author of the study. "It also demonstrates the positive effect of the federal ban, which has substantially reduced exposures and benefitted human health."

"The differences in fetal growth seen here are comparable to the differences between babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy and babies whose mothers don’t," said Whyatt. "The fact that the ban was associated with such an immediate change in birth weight and length provides considerable evidence of cause and effect."

According to the study investigators, the widespread use of the two pesticides makes them good candidates for a residential study of this kind. Chlorpyrifos, for instance, was the most frequently used residential insecticide in New York City prior to the ban. Both compounds are still widely used in agriculture and continue to be found in the food supply.

"This study is good news for our nation’s children," said Dr. Frederica P. Perera, Director of the Center and the study team leader. "The evidence that birth weight increased following the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory action implies important benefits for the children’s future health and development. At the same time, the results highlight the need to address continuing prenatal exposures to these and other toxic pesticides."

The study is part of a broader, multi-year research project, "The Mothers & Children Study In New York City," started in 1998, which examines the health effects of exposure of pregnant women and babies to air pollutants from vehicle exhaust, the commercial burning of fuels, and tobacco smoking, as well as from residential use of pesticides and allergens. The present study included a sample of 314 infants of African American and Dominican women in Washington Heights, Central Harlem and the South Bronx.


###
Other co-authors of this study include Dr. Virginia Rauh from the Columbia Center, Dr. Dana Barr from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and David Camann from Southwest Research Institute.

For more information or a copy of the study, please contact Heather Ross at 212-576-2700, extension 243.

NIEHS CONTACTS
John Peterson 919-541-7860
Dr. Gwen Collman 919-541-4980

John Peterson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
23.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Understanding animal social networks can aid wildlife conservation
23.06.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>