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Commonly used insecticides impair child brain development even at low exposure levels


Insecticides

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(NaturalNews) A family of insecticides called pyrethroids are found in many common household items and unfortunately, they've been shown to harm human health.

According to experts from the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in Rennes, France, they've been linked to interfering with children's brain function. The experts, along with researchers from the Laboratory for Developmental and Educational Psychology at Rennes 2 University, discovered that these insecticides affect children's memory and verbal comprehension in particular.

Nearly 300 mother-child pairs were assessed for the study, which involved at-home visits from two psychologists. One psychologist worked to determine the child's neurocognitive performances, while the other took other stimuli such as family environment into account to analyze intellectual development. Urine samples were collected to determine exposure to these pyrethroids, with an eye on five metabolites (3-PBA, 4-F-3-PBA, cis-DCCA, trans-DCCA and cis-DBCA).

Children especially susceptible to dangerous family of insecticides

It is thought that a child's exposure is common since they're often close to the ground and also involved in a great deal of hand-to-mouth activity; these behaviors make them more prone to contact with pyrethroids, which are primarily absorbed by their digestive tract and skin.

Of the five, increased levels of two metabolites (3 PBA and cis-DBCA) were found in children's urine, something which was associated with a large decrease in their verbal comprehension and working memory ability. Although a link in waning brain performance wasn't found with the other three metabolites, the finding still presents a strong case against pyrenthroids. In demonstrates that, even in small amounts, this group of insecticides can be harmful.

"Although these observations must be reproduced in further studies in order to draw definite conclusions," says the study's lead author Cecile Chevrier, "they indicate the potential responsibility of low doses of deltamethrine in particular (since the metabolite cis-DBCA is its main metabolite, and selective for it), and pyrethroid insecticides in general (since the metabolite 3-BPA is a degradation product of some twenty of these insecticides)."

Even exposure to low levels carries risks

The study, published in Environment International, states that it's well worth exploring the matter further since it comes with the potential to affect many areas. It notes:

Low-level childhood exposures to deltamethrin (as cis-DBCA is its principal and selective metabolite), in particular, and to pyrethroid insecticides, in general (as reflected in levels of the 3-PBA metabolite) may negatively affect neurocognitive development by 6 years of age. Whatever their etiology, these cognitive deficits may be of importance educationally, because cognitive impairments in children interfere with learning and social development. Potential causes that can be prevented are of paramount public health importance.

Chances are, pyrethroids lurk in your own home right now

Deltamethrin, for example, is a pyrethroid which is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's web site. Lambda-Cyhalothrin (found in many sprays designed to kill ants, roaches and spiders) is also on their list of pyrethrins and pyrethroids, which they note are "...included in over 3,500 registered products, many of which are used widely in and around households, including on pets, in mosquito control, and in agriculture."

You many want to check similar items in your own home for the following pyrethroids, which are outlined in the EPA list as follows:

Allethrin stereoisomers, Bifenthrin, Beta-Cyfluthrin, Cyfluthrin, Cypermethrin, Cyphenothrin, Deltamethrin, Esfenvalerate, Fenpropathrin, Tau-Fluvalinate, Lambda-Cyhalothrin, Gamma Cyhalothrin, Imiprothrin, 1RS cis-Permethrin, Permethrin, Prallethrin, Resmethrin, Sumithrin (d-phenothrin), Tefluthrin, Tetramethrin, Tralomethrin, and Zeta-Cypermethrin.

Pyrethroids are very common in the United States, taking the place of the insecticide chlorpyrifos which was banned in households more than 10 years ago.

They're found in everything from aerosol bombs, household sprays, insect repellents, pet shampoos and lice treatments, and have also been linked in other studies to changes in men's sperm as well as childhood leukemia.

Sources:

http://presse-inserm.fr

http://www.sciencedirect.com

http://www.epa.gov

http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org

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