Once again an study has found the important impact environment factors can have on the development of children. In this case, a common insecticide, permethrin , may delay child development, according to a study from the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found.
The insecticide permethrin was selected because it is so common.
Lead researcher Megan Horton of the Mailman School of Public Health says the study involved 725 black and Dominican pregnant women living in upper Manhattan and the South Bronx.
The insecticide permethrin was selected because it is one of the most common pyrethroid insecticides as well as the most commonly sold pesticide, Horton says. Piperonyl butoxide, known as PBO, is a common additive in pyrethroid formulations.
The study was conducted with a subset of 725 pregnant women participating in a prospective longitudinal study of black and Dominican women living in upper Manhattan and the South Bronx underway at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH).
Researchers found that children with higher pesticide exposures had lower mental development scores than kids with lower exposures.
“This drop in IQ points is similar to that observed in response to lead exposure,” said Megan Horton of the Mailman School of Public Health and lead researcher. “While perhaps not impacting an individual’s overall function, it is educationally meaningful and could shift the distribution of children in the society who would be in need of early intervention services”.