Saturday, Oct 25, 2008
“Toxicity to the brain is not routinely included in testing pesticides,” Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark told Reuters.
“Because many of them are by design toxic to the brain of insects, it is very likely that they are also toxic to human brains,” he said of a review of almost 200 scientific reports worldwide about the brain and pesticides.
“Laboratory experimental studies using model compounds suggest that many pesticides currently used in Europe…can cause neuro-developmental toxicity,” Grandjean and two colleagues in Denmark wrote in the journal Environmental Health.
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The developing brain of the fetus and young child is far more sensitive than the adult brain to disruptions from chemicals, they said.
The study focused on the use of pesticides in the 27-nation EU, which is currently reviewing pesticide laws. It urged greater testing and caution in approving chemicals because of uncertainties about their effects.
Manufacturers say their pesticides are safe for humans.