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 International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>