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Posted Wed Aug 18 2010: from Grist:
Risk to kids from toxic pesticides may be underestimated, study finds
But evidence is building that the way we think about pesticide risk, especially in children, is all wrong. A few years ago, scientists at Emory and the University of Washington showed that when children switched to organic fruits and vegetables, pesticide residue in their bodies (as measured in their urine) dropped significantly within days. But what wasn't clear at the time was the pesticide load in a typical kid's diet, since the scientists in the organic study had themselves established the diet given to the kids.... The researchers analyzed the fruit-and-veg consumption of two groups of kids, one from Washington state and one from Georgia. They found, as expected, a witch's brew of organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides -- both of which are endocrine disruptors and have suspected neurological effects -- on the fresh fruit and vegetables the study participants ate. Organophosphates, by the way, are the direct descendants of VX and Sarin nerve gases and were recently linked to the development of ADHD in kids.... What this study is telling us is that we're seriously underestimating how much of these dangerous pesticides -- chemicals that can affect kids' growing brains and bodies -- our kids are getting at any one time. For policy makers, the challenge is to create incentives for farmers to move away from poisons as a pest-control strategy.
[Read more stories about: pesticide runoff, health impacts, endocrine disruptor]

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