More Research Links Autism to Pesticides


Autism and rates of other neurogically-related problems are higher in areas where large amounts of chemical pesticides are used, according to University of California researchers. Publishing in an upcoming issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, the team looked at the addresses in California where 970 women who’d been pregnant had been living, and analyzed that information relative to how many pounds of chemical pesticides had been used within a certain distance. “Proximity to organophosphates at some point during gestation was associated with a 60% increased risk for [Autism Spectrum Disorder],” they write. This finding, they suggest, “strengthens the evidence linking neurodevelopmental disorders with gestational pesticide exposures.”

Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study. (Shelton, Janie F. et al. Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307044)

Also see:

Offspring autism risk linked to pesticide exposure during pregnancy (Medical News Today, June 23, 2014)

Autism Risk Higher Near Pesticide-Treated Fields (Scientific American, June 23, 2014)

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Rob Wipond
Rob Wipond is a freelance journalist who writes frequently on the interfaces between psychiatry, civil rights, policing, surveillance and privacy, and social change. His articles have been nominated for seventeen magazine and journalism awards. His book Your Consent is Not Required: The Rise in Psychiatric Detentions, Forced Treatment, and Abusive Guardianships will be released in January 2023, and can be pre-ordered through BenBella or major online booksellers. He can be contacted through his website.