The chemicals used in residential pesticides have changed in recent years due to harmful effects associated with pesticides known as the organophosphorus type.
Scientists at Columbia University in New York, USA evaluated the newer type of pesticides known as pyrethroids, whose longer-term effects were not known. Specifically, they looked at the effect of exposure to permethrin as a commonly-sold insecticide, as well as PBO, which is a common additive to the formulations.
The researchers analyzed air samples in the environments of 725 pregnant women, then tracked the brain development of their children over the next three years. At age three, the children whose mothers had been exposed to higher than 4.3 nanograms of PBO scored 3.9 points lower on mental development tests.
Lead scientist, Dr. Megan Horton, stated, “This finding is worrisome because mental development index scores are more predictive of school readiness.” Dr. Horton and other experts suggest that families avoid using chemical insecticide sprays and instead seek to use natural control measures such as sealing cracks in walls and maintaining a clean home environment.
Our gratitude, Dr. Horton and colleagues, for your revealing work in documenting the adverse effects of pyrethroid insecticides. Let us strive to halt the use of all such harmful substances so that babies, mothers, and families thrive in health and well-being.
During a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed the harm caused by chemical pesticides to humans and animals alike, speaking at the same time of alternatives that seek to protect all life.