A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has found that even moderate exposure to certain pesticides during pregnancy may affect infants' size and weight at birth.
For the study, researchers examined nearly 500 newborns and tested their umbilical cord blood for pesticide residues. They found that babies with higher pesticide levels tended to be smaller at birth.
Researches tested the umbilical cord blood for DDT and three other organochlorines — chemicals that are now banned or restricted in the U.S. but still persist in the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diet is the main potential source of pesticide exposure — with fatty foods, like dairy products and oily fish, topping the list.
In the new study, researchers found that for each 10-fold increase in any of the four pesticides found in the umbilical cord blood, the babies birth weight dipped by roughly 2 to 4 ounces.
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.