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Newborn babies have 287 chemicals in their blood

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The Environmental Working Group(EWG) has released a study focusing specifically on chemical exposures infants received before they were born.

EWG tested fetal cord blood of 10 healthy infants born at various locations around the U.S. in 2004, revealing exposures to a total of 287 chemicals. Many of these chemicals are linked to cancers, hormone disruption, low sperm counts, asthma, behavioral problems and a range of chronic health problems.

Body Burden, The Pollution in Newborns, Environmental Working Group, www.ewg.org

Pesticides Linked to a Range of Serious Illnesses

A report released in April 2004 by the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP) found consistent links to serious illnesses such as cancer, reproductive problems, and neurological diseases. Among the principal findings, the study found that pesticide exposure was associated with brain, prostate, kidney, and pancreatic cancers, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, leukemia, nervous system effects, and fetal abnormalities.

Children in particular were found to be vulnerable to pesticides. The College made a number of recommendations for the public to reduce their exposure to pesticides, such as implementing alternative organic methods of lawn and garden care and indoor pest control. It also urged physicians to be more aware the prevalence of pesticide exposure in patients.

Find the full report at www.ocfp.on.ca

Pesticides Boost Parkinson's Disease by 70%

A study published Dr. Alberto Ascherio, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and his colleagues was published July issue of the Annals of Neurology found that exposure to pesticides, but not other environmental contaminants, may boost the long-term risk for developing Parkinson's disease by 70%.

The authors reviewed lifestyle surveys completed in both 1982 and in 2001 by over 143,000 participants in the U.S. "Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort," launched in 1982.

Their research confirms earlier animal studies linking pesticide exposure to motor function abnormalities and lower levels of the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Declines in dopamine have long been associated with Parkinson's.

"This is the first large human study that shows that exposure to pesticide is associated with a higher incidence of Parkinson's," said Dr. Ascherio.

Source: Alberto Ascherio, M.D., associate professor, nutrition and epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston; Robin Elliot, executive director, Parksinon's Disease Foundation, New York City; July, 2006 issue of the Annals of Neurology.

Low Doses of Pesticides Effect Brain Development

The current testing methods used by regulatory authorities do not evaluate pesticides for developmental neurotoxicity. This is where the compounds damage the developing nervous system in the unborn and very young children. There are numerous studies showing that pesticides at residue levels significantly lower than currently allowed thresholds cause damage to the nervous system, especially the brain, causing an array of behavioral, learning and neurological problems.

A study just published in Environmental Health Perspectives has shown that the commonly used organophosphate pesticide, diazinon, causes brain damage in the new born which is permanent. The researchers from Duke University Medical Center, USA, stated 'These results indicate that developmental exposures to apparently nontoxic doses of DZN [diazinon] compromise neural cell development and alter ACh synaptic function in adolescence and adulthood.'

Source: Environmental Health Perspectives