Rule out the menace

Birth weights increase after USA bans two pesticides for household use

Published: Friday 30 April 2004

A ban imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency on two household insecticides has significantly reduced the number of underweight babies born in localities where the chemicals had been widely used. Researchers from the US-based Columbia University have found that infant birth weights and birth lengths in upper Manhattan area improved immediately after the pesticides chlorpyrifos and diazinon were banned in 2000.

During their study, the researchers estimated pesticide levels in the blood of pregnant women. The results showed that the infants of pregnant women exposed to the highest amount of the pesticides were on an average 6.6 ounces lighter than kids of women exposed to lower doses. The findings are alarming, as low birth weight means a higher rate of health and developmental problems.

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