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The dangers of prenatal pesticide exposure

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are finding that prenatal pesticide exposure causes a number of developmental problems throughout a child's life. The multi-year study followed a group of children born and raised in a California agricultural community where common pesticides are used.

Harley:           We've showed that women with higher levels of pesticides metabolytes in their urine during pregnancy had children with about seven points lower IQ by the age of 7 and that translates to a child performing about 6 months younger.

Narrator:       Researcher Kim Harley explains that prenatal pesticide exposure was also associated with lower IQ at age 2 and attention problems at age 5. Since such a significant shift in childhood development could have long-term implications for the population as a whole, Harley stresses the importance of limiting pesticide exposure.

Harley:           And then specifically for people living in agricultural communities, try to reduce the amount of pesticides that they're tracking into the home and maybe exposing other people in the home to.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.