The Agricultural Pesticide Damaging Kids’ Brains

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Scientifically, it’s been documented children continually are exhibiting lower IQs, aka the Flynn effect, decade after decade.

Jun 14, 2018 – IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades for those born after 1975. [Paraphrased from 1]

Fluoride exposure in drinking water has been blamed, as have neurotoxic chemicals in vaccines. Both can be classified as epigenetic effects, not genetics!

However, not much exposure has been given to a certain classification of agricultural pesticides known as Chlorpyrifos, first manufactured in 1965 by Dow Chemical Co., now known as DowDuPont after a 2017 merger with DuPont.

The chemical Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that affects the nervous system of insects by inhibiting acetyl cholinesterase, a key enzyme for neurotransmission. It apparently can have similar effects in children’s brains, especially during gestation, i.e., pregnancy.

Question: Will the chlorpyrifos saga go the route of Monsanto’s Roundup® after Bayer merged with Monsanto, who apparently got a “pig in a poke” with all the thousands of lawsuits being filed against Roundup? That remains to be seen.

However, the following information should convince consumers to avoid chlorpyrifos-treated crops and opt for organically-grown food.

According to Earth Justice,

Chlorpyrifos is used on a wide variety of crops including apples, oranges, strawberries, corn, wheat, citrus and other foods families and their children eat daily.

In fact, over half of all apples and broccoli in the U.S. are sprayed with chlorpyrifos. USDA’s Pesticide Data Program found chlorpyrifos residue on citrus and melons even after being washed and peeled. By volume, chlorpyrifos is most used on corn and soybeans, with over a million pounds applied annually to each crop. [2] [CJF emphasis]

Other food crops include almonds, cotton [seed oil used in processed foods], grapes, broccoli, sugar beets, peaches and nectarines, according to the Organic Consumers Association. [3]

Beyond Pesticides adds, “It is also commonly used for mosquito-borne disease control, and on golf courses.” [4] Additionally, Beyond Pesticides says, “[As] a neurological toxicant, chlorpyrifos damages the brains of young children: impacts of exposure, even at very low levels, include decreased cognitive function, lowered IQ, attention deficit disorder, and developmental and learning delays.” One more reason to purchase organically-grown baby food!

“On Aug. 9, 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA must finalize its proposed ban on chlorpyrifos within 60 days, based on undisputed findings that the pesticide is unsafe for public health, and particularly harmful to children and farmworkers. “The Court ended EPA’s shameful actions that have exposed children and farmworkers to this poison for decades,” said Earthjustice attorney Marisa Ordonia. “Finally, our fields, fruits, and vegetables will be chlorpyrifos-free.” [2]

However, according to Organic Consumers Association,

The revelation comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is duking it out in the legal system over a court ruling that the agency finalize a ban on chlorpyrifos that was proposed under the Obama administration, but overturned after Trump took office. On September 24, the EPA—the agency charged with protecting us from environmental contaminants—asked the courts to re-hear the case. [Yuk!] [5]

Beyond Pesticides has an online pdf file Widely Used Pesticide in Food Production Damages Children’s Brains EPA science on chlorpyrifos ignored as agency reverses decision to stop insecticide’s agricultural use,” which I encourage consumers to study carefully with regard to the following:

Chlorpyrifos effects on children’s brain function Studies have documented that exposure to low levels of chlorpyrifos during pregnancy can impair learning, change brain function and alter thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood, especially in females. 1,2,3,4 [CJF emphasis]

  1. Haviland et al. 2009. Long-term sex selective hormonal and behavior alterations in mice exposed to low doses of chlorpyrifos in utero. Tox. 29(1):74–9.
  2. Abou-Donia MB, et al. 2006. In utero exposure to nicotine and chlorpyrifos alone, and in combination produces persistent sensorimotor deficits and Purkinje neuron loss in the cerebellum of adult offspring rats. Arch Toxicol.; 80(9):620–31.
  3. Abdel-Rahman A, et al. 2003. Increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in cerebellum and hippocampus: differential effects on neonatal brain regional acetylcholinesterase following maternal exposure to combined chlorpyrifos and nicotine. J Toxicol Environ Health A.; 66(21):2047–66.
  4. Icenogle LM, et al. 2004. Behavioral alterations in adolescent and adult rats caused by a brief subtoxic exposure to chlorpyrifos during neurulation. Neurotoxicol Teratol; 26(1):95–101.

The Organic Consumers Association is encouraging everyone to TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to ban—now—this pesticide [Chlorpyrifos] that damages children’s brains.

As OCA says, “It’s high time for the EPA to stop stalling, and start protecting kids and farmworkers instead of chemical companies like Dow.”

References:

[1] https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html
[2] https://earthjustice.org/features/what-you-need-to-know-about-chlorpyrifos
[3] https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/did-dow-chemical-fake-safety-studies-brain-damaging-chlorpyrifos#close
[4] https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2018/12/california-criticized-for-adopting-inadequate-measures-to-restrict-the-highly-toxic-chlorpyrifos/
[5] OCA’s Organic Bytes email 12-8-18

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)

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