California is one of the greatest crop producers in America and subsequently uses a vast amount of potentially harmful pesticides, some of which are harming children. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley asked a group of children exposed to pesticides to blow out a candle and found what was enough to categorize exposure damage with secondhand smoke exposure. The study, published in the journal Thorax, reveals the dangerous effects a family of pesticides, called organophosphates, has on young, developing lungs.
“Researchers have described breathing problems in agricultural workers who are exposed to these pesticides, but these new findings are about children who live in an agricultural area where the organophosphates are being used,” said the study’s senior author Brenda Eskenazi, a professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health at the UC Berkeley, in a press release. “This is the first evidence suggesting that children exposed to organophosphates have poorer lung function.”
For the study, researchers analyzed urine samples from 279 children with decreased lung function. The samples were collected five times throughout the children’s lives, from the time they were 6 months old up until they turned 5 years old. Each time they measured the amount of organophosphate in their urine, the child had an average of 8 percent less air function for every tenfold increase of the pesticide. The decreased lung function is comparable to a child inhaling their mother’s secondhand smoke.
Continue reading original article by Samantha Olson at Medical Daily