Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador is the founder of MCS America, a science writer, and a social advocate for the greater awareness of environmental contamination, human toxicology, and propagation of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) as a disorder of organic biological origin induced by toxic environmental insults.
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Pesticide Exposure Leads to Increased Body Fat in ChildrenPesticide Exposure Leads to Increased Body Fat in Children
by Lourdes Salvador
Think fat is all in your genes or what you eat? Think again!
A new study shows that school age children who are prenatally exposed to modern pesticides are born with lower birth weight and may have as much as 16% more body fat than those who are not exposed to pesticides. If the mother also smoked, the body fat percentage may increase as much as 30% over unexposed and nonsmoking counterparts.
Pesticides are endocrine disrupting chemicals that have been though to play a role in the obesity epidemic. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the human hormonal system. Often the thyroid gland is affected. A sluggish thyroid may lead to weight gain. The pancreas may also be affected, leading to diabetes and poor sugar metabolism.
While the study focused on occupational exposure to pesticides, everyone has some exposure. Just living in the modern world ensures exposure through air, food, and water.
Staying entirely away from pesticides is almost impossible. Most public places, stores, and food establishments are routinely sprayed as preventive maintenance. Many workplaces and schools are also sprayed.
The best most people can do is to limit exposures and use alternatives at home. Requests may be made for integrated pest management (IMP) practices in schools and the work place. IPM focuses on routinely monitoring for problems and non-pesticide preventive measures. Pesticides are only used as a last resort and the least toxic method is selected.
Most foods, including fresh produce, may contain up to 20 pesticides per serving. Switching to organic and growing as much of one´s own food as possible helps to limit dietary pesticide exposure.
Also, beware of personal care products, such as sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and makeup, which may contain hidden pesticides.
Wohlfahrt-Veje C, Main KM, Schmidt IM, Boas M, Jensen TK, Grandjean P, Skakkebaek NE, Andersen HR. Lower birth weight and increased body fat at school age in children prenatally exposed to modern pesticides: A prospective study. Environ Health. 2011 Sep 20;10(1):79. [Epub ahead of print]
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2011 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America