For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

EWG Public Affairs: 202.667.6982 or alex@ewg.org

Common Pesticides Associated With Lower Birth Weight, Shortened Pregnancy

Oakland, Calif. - A new study is reinforcing obstetricians’ standard warning that pregnant women should avoid exposure to pesticides in foods and weed killers because the chemicals can harm the developing fetus.

In the study, Cincinnati-area women had levels of organophosphate insecticides that significantly affected birth weight and gestation period.

“This latest report is further evidence that babies in the womb are exquisitely sensitive to pesticide exposure,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group. “While much has been done to reduce people’s exposure to organophosphates, this important study shows that even remaining exposures are harmful.”

Lead researcher Bruce Lanphear MD MPH, and his colleagues tracked an ethnically and economically diverse group of more than 300 expectant mothers from the Cincinnati area. They found that newborns of women with the highest levels of organophosphates in their urine were delivered, on average, about half a week earlier and weighed one-third of a pound less than those of women with the lowest exposures.

The abstract of the new study can be found in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

For years, EWG has urged the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the use of these highly toxic pesticides in agriculture and advised consumers to avoid fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides. Last year, three studies found that prenatal exposure to organophosphates was associated with diminished IQ in children. Other research has linked organophosphate exposure in children to increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.

Share This Article

More in: