Mums-to-be exposed to organophosphates, pesticides used on food crops, during pregnancy may have children with lower intelligence research has suggested. It seems the pesticides might impair a child’s cognitive development.
The study, which looked at more than 400 children from New York, revealed that exposure could have been from eating fruit and vegetables sprayed with pesticides, rather than directly from the environment.
Children with the most exposure to the pesticides when in the womb had lower overall IQ scores.
“The difference could mean, on average, more kids being shifted into the lower spectrum of learning, and more needing special services in school. The impact of the study is substantial,” said Brenda Eskenazi, professor of maternal and child health at the University of California.