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In Utero Exposure to Commercial Pesticides Linked to Autism — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 24, 2014

In Utero Exposure to Commercial Pesticides Linked to Autism

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Prenatal exposure to commonly used agricultural pesticides may be associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorder and developmental delay, according to an observational study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Researchers studied 970 children (aged 2 to 5 years) in California with autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, or typical development. Data on the use of commercial pesticides (in places such as farms, golf courses, parks) were linked to the mothers' addresses during pregnancy.

Among the findings, after multivariable adjustment: Children with autism spectrum disorder were 60% more likely to have had organophosphates applied near their homes (within 1.25 km) when they were in utero, relative to those with typical development. In addition, children with developmental delay were almost 150% more likely to have had carbamate pesticides applied near their homes.

The authors say their study "strengthens the evidence linking neurodevelopmental disorders with gestational pesticide exposures."

Reader Comments (1)

Giorgio Parmiani Milano

THis is a crucial new information that may contribute, if confirmed, to reduce the risk of autism.

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