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Birth Defects from Pesticides Include:
■ Undeveloped jaws (Pierre Robin Syndrome)
■ No visible sex organs
■ No nose
■ No ears
The mothers worked as tomato pickers and were exposed to at least two dozen pesticides. One of the mothers quit working two months into her pregnancy and the other two moms both worked until they were 7 months pregnant. One of the children was born without limbs, another had a deformed jaw, and the third was born without a nose or visible sex organs and died after birth.
Did You Know?
-- A 2004 analysis of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data revealed that 100% of blood and urine tests from subjects they monitored showed pesticide residues. Two insecticides — chlorpyrifos and methyl parathion — were found at levels up to 4.6 times greater than what the US government deems acceptable.
-- In a joint study conducted by scientists from the CDC, the University of Washington and Emory University, researchers found that pesticide levels in test subjects dropped to undetectable levels upon switching to an organic diet. When the subjects switched back to a non-organic diet, pesticide residues almost immediately became detectable.
-- According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel, "It has been estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests, leaving the bulk of the pesticides (99.9%) to impact the environment."
Use of these pesticides totals 350 million pounds per year. An EPA database summarizing studies of 19 of these commonly used pesticides indicates that 18 of the 19 have caused reproductive problems in laboratory tests. Immediate health impacts can include dizziness; vomiting; headaches; sweating; skin, eye, and respiratory tract irritation; and fatigue. The health effects from exposure to pesticides vary depending upon the level and duration of exposure. As with most environmental toxins, children are at greater risk from exposure than adults.