A new report released recently by the United States Atlantic Coast Childhood Brain Cancer Study found a disturbing correlation between the incidence of brain cancer and a child's pre-birth exposure to certain pesticides. The study found that children who live in homes where their parents use pesticides are twice as likely to develop brain cancer versus those that live in houses where no pesticides are used. Herbicide use appeared to cause a particularly elevated risk for a certain type of cancer.
The study surveyed more than 800 fathers and more than 500 mothers that lived in residential areas in Florida, New Jersey, New York (excluding New York City) and Pennsylvania. Researchers assessed parental exposure to insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides at home and at work beginning two years prior to their child's birth and compared these to the children within the study who were diagnosed with brains cancer. According to the study, parental exposures that occured before the child’s conception, during gestation, or after birth were all linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Brain cancer is the second most common cancer in children, yet researchers have never been clear on why it develops. Genetics certainly plays a role in some cases, but health experts also believe that environmental factors and exposures may increase a child's risk.
Yet another good reason to skip the chemicals and look for natural alternatives to keep your yard clean and green this year.