Exposure to organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy appears to contribute to child neurodevelopment disorders

In June 2019 researchers from Thailand published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides in children. The researchers stated that exposure to pesticides is a major factor in the cause of dysfunction in the nervous system and neurodevelopment disorders in children. A total of 50 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Fifteen studies assessed the effects on neonates and infants, 18 on the effects on toddlers and preschool children, and 24 the effects on school-age children. Results of the review showed that whilst there is considerable evidence which suggests that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides contributes to child neurodevelopment disorders in all stages, there is only limited information on the effects of postnatal exposure. The evidence therefore suggests that the sensitive time-windows occur during pregnancy rather than postnatally. It should, however, be noted that although 45 out of the 50 studies found an association between organophosphate pesticide exposure and child neurodevelopment, some of the evidence was controversial. Further research is therefore required to obtain firmer conclusions and available evidence reviewed continuously to update information concerning neurodevelopmental effects associated with organophosphate pesticide exposure.

Sapbamrer R, Hongsibsong S. Effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides on child neurodevelopment in different age groups: a systematic review. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Jun;26(18):18267-18290.

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