A study published in Environmental Health Perspectives has linked parental use of pesticides with an increased risk of brain cancer in children. Bug sprays, around the home and in the garden, could increase the chance that you will give birth to a child that develops brain cancer, say researchers.
Risk of Brain Cancer in Children a Result of Parents Spraying Pesticides
We already know that pesticides cause cancer in animals, and growing research is linking them to cancer in humans as well. This study analyzed mothers and fathers in homes in four Atlantic Coast states, looking at those who used pesticides and those who didn’t.
The results found an increased risk of brain cancer was present when parents used pesticides. That risk was somewhat reduced when fathers washed immediately after use or wore protective clothing when compared with those fathers who didn’t take any precautions.
Environmental Health News says that brain cancer is the second most common form of cancer in children, though experts aren’t clear on why it develops. While genetics may play a role in some cases, they don’t in all. And scientists believe that those cases of brain cancer in children not related to genetics could be related to environmental factors, like pesticides and other pollutants.
“Parental exposures may act before the child’s conception, during gestation, or after birth to increase the risk of cancer,” said the study. And when the parents are exposed to the pesticides may also play a role in the different cellular changes that lead to cancer.
Most of the parents in the study that were exposed to pesticides, used pesticides around the home and on their lawn. In other words, they weren’t exposed to abnormally high levels, as one would associated with working around pesticides, for example.
The use of pesticides has skyrocketed over the past several years. From being sprayed on all of our vegetables to being sprayed around the house to keep pests out, we have gone more than a little overboard in our reliance on these poisons. To find out which produce are the least contaminated, check out the new dirty dozen list released by the Environmental Working Group – you can also view the cleanest 15.
There are ways to keep such critters out of your home without resorting to the bottled poisons. Keeping a clean house and sweeping and vacuuming frequently can help. Also, using things like cayenne pepper or even baby powder around entrances can also cut down on insects making their way across the threshold. Since pesticides are so rampantly used, and have been tied to an increased rick of brain cancer in children and lower intelligence, among other things, it is crucial to limit exposure as much as possible.
Rather than depending on a quick fix, do your research and keep your family safe instead.