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Pesticides and Children with Disabilities

Posted Oct 21 2012 3:24pm

I found an interesting article in the October 10, 2012  San Francisco Chorincle by Stephanie Lee. It was entitled: Report cites pesticides as cause in more kids' illnesses. Ms. Lee  kindly sent me the report on which  she based her article. As I read it over, I was concerned that pesticides were cited as the cause for the increase in developmental disabilities, ADHD, autism, cancers in children, diabetes, and obesity. I agree that pesticides can certainly be harmful and should be eliminated as much as possible, but I don't think you can blame them for all the problems that were cited. I was concerned that no medical doctors, particularly  pediatricians or geneticists, were quoted.

I think much mroe research has to be done to find why we have such an increase in children's medical problems. For example in Guatemala, thre is a high incidence of cleft palates and cleft lips. I suspect this is due largely to diet and perhaps a folic acid or vitamin deficiency. You can get a family history in 5% of spina bifida cases and in about 1/3 of autism cases. Diabetes also occurs in families and if you look at obese chidlren and ask what the family eats and  look at the parents, that is very telling. The level of exercise and the amount of TV watched should also be noted. So, I think we need to do a lot more research before we have any definitive answers. Meanwhile, reducing the amount of pesticides in which children come in contact is a wise idea.

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