Tiny Pesticide Exposure during Pregnancy Can Have Long-Term Impact on Female Offspring

November 11th, 2009

University of Wisconsin researchers’ study confirms chlorpyrifos levels far below “toxic” threshold can impair learning, change brain function and alter thyroid levels into adulthood for tested mice.

http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20091110/porter_chlorpyrifos_tiny_dose_pregnancy_impact_daughters (link no longer available)

Excerpts from Rodale Institute story:

A new animal study accentuates the risk of ultra-low levels of the common pesticide chlorpyrifos to cause long-lasting birth defects in female offspring of exposed mothers. The daughters exhibited learning delays, disturbed brain function and altered thyroid levels. Significantly, these symptoms resulted from low toxicity exposure during late gestation — an impact route not even part of current regulatory pesticide testing.

Damage at these doses highlights vulnerability during gestation from toxins even at the parts per billion level.

In a paper published October 29 by the Reproductive Toxicology (1), a peer-reviewed academic journal, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Department of Zoology, detail their findings from research on pregnant female mice exposed to minute levels of chlorpyrifos late in gestation.

The results are dramatic because of the tiny doses involved, and because of the near ubiquity of chlorpyrifos present in humans. The pesticide is highly regulated because of its known hazards to human health, but is still used widely in food production, ornamental horticulture and treating buildings for insects.

Haviland JA, et al. Long-term sex selective hormonal and behavior alterations in mice exposed to low doses of chlorpyrifos in utero.
Reproductive Toxicology (2009), doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2009.10.008

The Haviland, et al, paper in Reproductive Toxicology will be accessible at
http://www.citeulike.org/article/6050702. (access fee)


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