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 How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

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: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

23.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

“Pregnant” Housefly Males Demonstrate the Evolution of Sex Determination

23.05.2017 | Life Sciences

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>