The reality is that nearly everyone experiences daily exposure to pesticides. Pesticides appear on fruits and vegetables. They are sprayed into the air for agricultural purposes. They are used in the home for pest control. Large amounts of pesticides do negatively affect the body. This is especially true for women who are pregnant since the fetus is exposed to the pesticides as well. There are several potential dangers related to pesticide exposure during pregnancy.
Birth defects are one of the most common dangers associated with exposure to pesticides during pregnancy. The pesticides enter the body and affect the overall development of the fetus. This can result in limb defects, heart defects and neural tube defects during early stages of development. Fortunately, studies by professionals have resulted in alternatives to chemical pesticides that do not increase the chance of birth defects. This has reduced pesticide-related birth defects.
According to a leading a pest research lab, there is an association between pesticides like pyrethroids and the development of cancer in children who were exposed to the chemicals while in the womb. One of the most common is leukemia. Leukemia is cancer of the blood that can become very aggressive over time. The exact chance of developing cancer because of exposure during pregnancy is not fully known. Most cases involve heavier exposure to industrial and agricultural pesticides and not the chemicals found in average homes.
Children who are exposed to high levels of pesticides while in the womb could potentially score lower on intelligence tests. This includes pesticides from food sources as well as chemicals sprayed in the home or in nearby fields. It is thought that the pesticides affect the normal growth of the brain during the first trimester. It is also thought that higher levels of pesticide exposure results in proportionally lower intelligence in children. It is important to note that it takes relatively high levels of exposure during pregnancy to affect intelligence.
Low Birth Weight
A number of strong pesticides have been connected to lower birth weights. High exposure to pesticides during pregnancy can result in a loss of one-third of a pound during birth. Low birth weight makes a child more prone to health problems. It also increases the chance of developing health issues throughout adult life.
A final potential danger of pesticide exposure during pregnancy is a preterm birth. Some women who have had high amounts of pesticides in the body give birth up to a week or more before the expected date. Preterm birth can cause developmental and health problems that last a lifetime. This includes issues like asthma.