Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides

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Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides

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dc.contributor.author Harari, Raul
dc.contributor.author Julvez, Jordi
dc.contributor.author Murata, Katsuyuki
dc.contributor.author Barr, Dana
dc.contributor.author Debes, Frodi
dc.contributor.author Bellinger, David C.
dc.contributor.author Grandjean, Philippe
dc.date.accessioned 2011-05-15T21:42:01Z
dc.date.issued 2010
dc.identifier.citation Harari, Raul, Jordi Julvez, Katsuyuki Murata, Dana Barr, David C. Bellinger, Frodi Debes, and Philippe Grandjean. 2010. Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives 118(6): 890-896. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0091-6765 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4889502
dc.description.abstract Background: The long-term neurotoxicity risks caused by prenatal exposures to pesticides are unclear, but a previous pilot study of Ecuadorian school children suggested that blood pressure and visuospatial processing may be vulnerable. Objectives: In northern Ecuador, where floriculture is intensive and relies on female employment, we carried out an intensive cross-sectional study to assess children’s neurobehavioral functions at 6–8 years of age. Methods: We examined all 87 children attending two grades in the local public school with an expanded battery of neurobehavioral tests. Information on pesticide exposure during the index pregnancy was obtained from maternal interview. The children’s current pesticide exposure was assessed from the urinary excretion of organophosphate metabolites and erythrocyte acetylcholine esterase activity. Results: Of 84 eligible participants, 35 were exposed to pesticides during pregnancy via maternal occupational exposure, and 23 had indirect exposure from paternal work. Twenty-two children had detectable current exposure irrespective of their prenatal exposure status. Only children with prenatal exposure from maternal greenhouse work showed consistent deficits after covariate adjustment, which included stunting and socioeconomic variables. Exposure-related deficits were the strongest for motor speed (Finger Tapping Task), motor coordination (Santa Ana Form Board), visuospatial performance (Stanford-Binet Copying Test), and visual memory (Stanford-Binet Copying Recall Test). These associations corresponded to a developmental delay of 1.5–2 years. Prenatal pesticide exposure was also significantly associated with an average increase of 3.6 mmHg in systolic blood pressure and a slight decrease in body mass index of 1.1 kg/m2. Inclusion of the pilot data strengthened these results. Conclusions: These findings support the notion that prenatal exposure to pesticides—at levels not producing adverse health outcomes in the mother—can cause lasting adverse effects on brain development in children. Pesticide exposure therefore may contribute to a “silent pandemic” of developmental neurotoxicity. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1289/ehp.0901582 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898869/pdf/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject acetylcholinesterase en_US
dc.subject blood pressure en_US
dc.subject maternal exposure en_US
dc.subject neurotoxicity syndromes en_US
dc.subject occupational exposure en_US
dc.subject organophosphorus compounds en_US
dc.subject pesticides en_US
dc.subject prenatal exposure delayed effects en_US
dc.subject children's health en_US
dc.title Neurobehavioral Deficits and Increased Blood Pressure in School-Age Children Prenatally Exposed to Pesticides en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Environmental Health Perspectives en_US
dash.depositing.author Bellinger, David C.
dc.date.available 2011-05-15T21:42:01Z
dash.affiliation.other HMS^Neurology-Children's Hospital en_US
dash.affiliation.other SPH^Exposure Epidemiology and Risk Program en_US
dash.affiliation.other SPH^Environmental+Occupational Medicine+Epi en_US

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