Childhood Pesticide Exposure Leads to Functional Developmental Disorders
MCS America News, Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2008.
Organophosphate pesticides may lead to functional developmental
abnormalities in the nation's children!
Organophosphates inhibit acetylcholinesterase by binding with cholinesterase
at the neuromuscular junction. Lack of acetylcholinesterase is the result
of organophosphate overexposure and organophosphate poisoning, which leads
to chronic irreversible illness.
Illness induced by chronic organophosphate exposure includes symptoms of
nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, abdominal pain, and
chest pain. Acute exposure results in gastrointestinal upset, bronchospasm,
sweating, muscle weakness, depression of the central nervous system, and
other symptoms. Irreversible sensory-motor neuropathy can progress into
paralysis, ataxia, and spasticity.
More than 13,000 cases of organophosphate poisoning were reported in the
United States in 1999, including 83 fatalities.
Scientists at the Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental
Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University have now shown that
organophosphates have an additional negative effect on infants whose nervous
systems are not fully developed.
Organophosphates impact the normal growth of axons, nerve fiber that extend
from brain neurons, interfering with brain growth and development.
The researchers feel this discovery explains why children and animals that
have been developmentally exposed to organophosphates may have functional
In addition, developmental exposure to organophosphates appears to increase
the vulnerability of the central nervous system to organophosphate
Organophosphates include pesticides such as diazinon and chlorpyrifos.
Organophosphates are nerve agents first discovered in 1938 and introduced
as a chemical warfare agent during World War II. Organophosphates are now
primarily used against fleas, lice, flies, and mosquito's.
Infants have been shown to be especially susceptible to environmental
contaminants in what is referred to by scientists as the critical stage.
Now there is evidence that developmental abnormalities may results from
Jaga, K, Dharmani, C. Sources of exposure to and public health implications
of organophosphate pesticides. J Public Health. 2003;14(3).
Yang D, Howard A, Bruun D, Ajua-Alemanj M, Pickart C, Lein PJ. Chlorpyrifos
and chlorpyrifos-oxon inhibit axonal growth by interfering with the
morphogenic activity of acetylcholinesterase. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007
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