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Child Health

A growing body of research is providing evidence of negative effects on child health due to pesticide use and exposure by parents. Studies are correlating parental use of pesticides before and during pregnancy as well as after birth with health impacts on their children. These impacts range from birth defects to cancer. These cross-generational, indirect impacts on child health demonstrate the persistence of pesticides and harm that they can cause.


Article 1
Pogoda, Janice M., and Susan Preston-Martin. "Household Pesticides and Risk of Pediatric Brain Tumors." Environmental Health Perspectives 105.11 (1997): 1214-220.

Summary of Article 1
This study examines the existence of a relationship between exposure to household pest control products and the incidence of brain tumors in children. The researchers interviewed hundreds of mothers to inquire about the types of pesticides they had used before or during their pregnancy. They cross-referenced this data with data on incidences of tumors in their children. A significant increased risk of tumors was seen in children whose mothers used flea and tick control products, specifically products that need to be sprayed or released as an area fogger.


Article 2
Ma, Xiaomei, Patricia A. Buffler, Robert B. Gunier, Gary Dahl, Martyn T. Smith, Kyndaron Reinier, and Peggy Reynolds. "Critical Windows of Exposure to Household Pesticides and Risk of Childhood Leukemia." Environmental Health Perspectives 110.9 (2002): 955-60.

Summary of Article 2
This study looked at the association of exposure to household pesticides with the incidence of childhood leukemia. The researchers studied a population from Northern California between the ages of 0-14. Based on the answers that parents of these children provided to their questions on amounts and frequency of exposure, both prenatally and within the first three years after birth, they were able to make several conclusions on the connection between exposure and the disease. Researchers found increased rates of leukemia among children who were exposed to insecticides, specifically to those used in indoor settings. Highest rates were seen when exposure happened in the prenatal stage. The more frequent the exposure incidence the greater the risk.


Article 3
Flower, Kori B., Jane A. Hoppin, Charles F. Lynch, Aaron Blair, Charles Knott, David L. Shore, and Dale P. Sandler. "Cancer Risk and Parental Pesticide Application in Children of Agricultural Health Study Participants." Environmental Health Perspectives 112.5 (2004): 631-35.

Summary of Article 3
This study evaluates the relationship between pesticide applicators' exposure to agricultural pesticides and rates of cancer in applicators' children. A large population of farmers from Iowa, an area where corn production dominates, was used as the test group for this study. The researchers pulled data from questionnaires about the types of pesticides the parents used, when they began using them, how they used them, and the frequency with which they used them. This information was cross-referenced with data on incidences of cancer among their children. Researchers found increased rates of cancer, lymphomas, and Hodgkin's lymphoma among children whose parents were repeatedly exposed to pesticides. They also noticed a correlation between fathers who did not wear protective gloves when handling pesticides and heightened levels of cancer in their children.

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