Children and Pesticides
Children are significantly more vulnerable than most adults to the hazards from toxic pesticides.
Exposure to all the [classes of] pesticides...has shown positive association with adverse health effects [especially in children and pregnant women] (Ontario College 2004)
Pesticide poisoning has been associated with acute symptoms in children "that can resemble upper respiratory tract illness, conjunctivitis, or gastrointestinal illness among other conditions" (Alarcron 2005)
More recently pesticides have been associated with serious debilitating and/or life threatening illnesses. For example: Asthma (Salam 2004), Cancer (Rudent 2007, Soldin 2009 ), and Autism (Roberts 2007, Hertz-Picciotto 2008, Eskenazi 2007)
Action is needed to prevent pregnant women and children from being exposed to toxic chemical pesticides. Health professionals, parents, legislators and responsible citizen's organizations should unite to work for greater protection of these vulnerable, precious individuals.
More information about children's health and pesticides can be found in section 3 of our publication "Issues and Impacts 2009."
Alarcron, WA, Calvert GM, Blondell, JM, Mehler LN, Sievert J, Propeck M, Tibbetts, DS, Becker A, Lackovic M, Soileau SB, Das R, Beckman DP, Thomsen CL, Stanbury M (2005) Journal of the American Medical Association 294:4 455-465
Eskenazi B (2007) Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Neurodevelopment in Young Mexican-American Children. Environmental Health Perspectives 115(5)792-798
Hertz-Picciotto, I(2008) Household Pesticide Use in Relation to Autism. Paper presented at The International Meeting for Autism Research London May 15-17,2008
Ontario College of Family Physicians (2004), Pesticides Literature Review, Chapter 11. The Ontario College of Family Physicians 357 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5H2T7, pp.163-168. April 23, 2004
Roberts EM (2007) Maternal Residence near Agricultural Pesticide Applications and Autism Spectrum Disorders among Children in the California Central Valley Environmental Health Perspectives 115(10)1482-1489
Rudant, J, et al.(2007) "Household Exposure to Pesticides and Risk of Childhood Hematopoietic Malignancies: The ESCALE Study (SFCE)" Environmental Health Perspectives 115(12):1787-1793
Salam, MT et al (2004) Early-Life Environmental Risk Factors for Asthma: Findings from the Children's Health Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 112(6):760-765
Soldin, OJ et. al (2009) Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Exposure to Pesticides. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 31:495-501