Pesticides Linked to Lower IQ

Three new studies found that children exposed to pesticides while in the womb have lower IQs.

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Three separate studies found that pregnant women exposed to pesticides had children with lower IQ scores. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley followed 300 low-income families in California, and found that children with the highest exposure to organophosphates (pesticides used to kill bugs) had an average of seven points lower than those with the least exposure. Similarly, a Columbia University study found that women with higher levels of pesticides in their umbilical-cord blood had children with lower IQ scores and working memory. While organophosphates have been illegal for residential use since 2000, they are still commonly sprayed on farm fields.

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