Early exposure to agricultural pesticides may harm children’s lungs – even more than secondhand smoke – researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, are saying.
The study links organophosphate pesticide metabolites in the urine of 279 children aged 6 months to 5 years living in Salinas Valley with decreased lung function. The area is a hub for lettuce, grapes, orchids and many more crops.
The children were part of the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS). The longitudinal study followed children from before birth up to adolescence.
Researchers gave children a test to assess their ability to take deep breaths and then expel the air at the age of 7. For every tenfold increase in concentrations of organophosphate metabolites, a 159-millileter decrease in lung function – about 8% less air – when blowing out a candle was observed by researchers.
The decrease in breathing ability is similar to that caused by exposure to secondhand smoke from mothers.
The findings didn’t change even after the team accounted for smoking by the kids’ mothers, air pollution, mold, pets in the home and other factors.
“The kids in our study with higher pesticide exposure had lower breathing capacity,” study author Rachel Raanan said a university news release. “If the reduced lung function persists into adulthood, it could leave our participants at greater risk of developing respiratory problems like COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].” 
Earlier studies had focused on the harmful effects of organophosphate pesticides on adult agricultural workers. These chemicals target the nervous system.
“This is the first evidence suggesting that children exposed to organophosphates have poorer lung function,” said study senior author Brenda Eskenazi, a professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health at UC Berkeley.
The study didn’t examine how the children were exposed to the pesticides, but the team warned that farmworkers should remove their clothes and shoes before entering homes. They also said that children should be kept away from nearby fields when they are being sprayed with pesticides and people should shut their windows on those days. Washing fruits and vegetables before eating them can also remove some of the pesticides. 
Of course, organic is always the best option to avoid dangerous organophosphates. In fact, in February 2015, researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health found that people who ate organic produce had significantly lower levels of organophosphate pesticide exposures compared with those who ate commercially grown produce.
In May 2014, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Research showed that participants who ate an 80% organic diet had 89% less pesticide residue in their urine than participants who ate conventionally grown produce. And all it took was one week of organic eating for participants to experience a decrease in levels of dialkyl phosphates (DAPs), a non-selective organophosphate metabolite.
Organophosphates are still widely used, the authors write about the newest findings in the journal Thorax, but their residential use was largely phased out in the mid-2000s. Organophosphate use has dropped in California from 4.6 million pounds in 2000, when the study began, to 3.5 million pounds in 2013.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed last month eliminating all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos, one of the most heavily used organophosphates, and others are also under evaluation.
 UC Berkeley News
29 thoughts on “Pesticides as Dangerous as Secondhand Smoke to Kids”
Nice article Julie. I have said many times that I’m glad my customers don’t need to use this group of insecticides any longer. What I don’t understand is why you and everyone else wants us to return to the days where we use large amounts of them? These were done away with thanks to gmos.
Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years
Charles M Benbrook
http://link dot springer dot com/article/10.1186/2190-4715-24-2/fulltext.html#copyrightInformation
Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram
(527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States
between 1996 and 2011, while Bt
crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123
million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183
million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%.
Yes it is all quite simple when you only look at the biased information that you quote. No be a good little stooge and tell us the difference in acreage from 1996 to 2011.
Your PR method and tactic has no scientific value.
The acreage has expanded in great part due to economic conditions, ie bankruptcies.
The large corporations have been buying as much as possible, and leased acreage has also dramatically risen, ie people are desperate due to rising costs and increased Family income expenditures to keep and hold their Families land.
To claim higher yields based on a blanket statement that doesn’t specify GE or Natural seed production is another PR tactic from the industries echo chamber.
The industry makes claim then demands any who oppose to prove their claims?
How can you be that stupid? Oh wait I forgot who I was talking to. If you once again tried to make people think that pesticide use is increasing, but you neglect to recognize several key points, or maybe you purposely overlooked them because the prove you wrong. As far s people trying to hold on to their land? Once again you are lying. Coming off the best five years for agriculture profits the only reason that would be a problem is if they were as dumb as you.
I merely posted a report about the increased use of pesticides, talk to the author of the report or provide factual proof of the miracle of GE’s decreased pesticide and herbicide use.
Homelessness has increased, unemployment has increased, the new renters are out growing the new homeowners. The economy is in a downturn.
Tell me that new acreage wasn’t acquired, since that information is readily available.
It’s very easy to just blindly blame for the GE failings, but a real Man would accept their responsibility and increase their efforts to work towards their promises.
I didn’t provide years worth of failed and subjective history to the GE industry, they did and their leadership’s failures continue.
Hitlers people running the gas chambers weren’t murders, they were just following orders. You aren’t lying by posting half truths your just passing on the lies because you are to stupid to know the real facts? Nice defense there coward.
As for unemployment again you missed the last report didn’t you. Not surprising that you can’t get anything correct. Even the economy isn’t terrible, but that is hard to see from your basement isn’t it. As for your failed gmos strange how they have been producing record crops around the world and saving lives.
Yes, history is very important, so is Honor, Integrity, respect and responsibility.
Lying to suit an agenda holds none of those values. Mistakes have been made and as of now there is still time to correct.
Stuffs on the news and in every internet news reporting, strange how your version of the news doesn’t seem to include reality.
Yes I know your GMO’s are saving lives, your masters had me destroy the Iraqi and Afghani Nation’s and it’s People so they could do this,
engdahl dot oilgeopolitics dot net/GMO/Iraq_and_seeds_of_democracy/iraq_and_seeds_of_democracy.HTM
Need I mention Africa and the continued assault on the People of that Country.
You should be very proud making that claim, I’m not.
LOL, the closest you ever came to destroying those countries was by playing Risk with your blow up doll. It is a shame that you are that far out of touch from reality.
I’m very sorry for you, may God have mercy on you.
I believe he will since I have spent my life trying to help my neighbor raise food for the world. You on the other hand may be in trouble. Just in case I will pray for you.
The fallacy is, they can raise their own food, your claim to such heroic actions is classical and from the PR echo chamber, denying the rights and politically and economically depriving them for profit.
corpwatch dot org/article.php?id=12547
Sure they can. Countries like China and India simply do not have the resources to raise that much food, but you are a classic denier. Not to mention a classic idiot.
You don’t know what the People of China and India can do, or their available resources.
Fact, if they can waste thousands of acres on cotton, not feeding anybody, they have the acreage to plant diverse nutritious crops.
Classic “denier,” heard that in every argument on these GMO threads, don’t you people ever try something new?
If the soil type is better suited for a cash crop like cotton then why raise something else? Oh I forgot you know zero about farming so it really doesn’t matter what you think now does it.
Nice response, so forget about the thousands of years before your presence on the internet.
Let’s see, cash crop, the land is more suited for corporate profit.
Good point why raise food for their People.
You really think people are stupid enough to believe that trash?
Well lets see, you claim countries like India don’t need to import food. In reality they raise cotton, Bt cotton that is and they do a very good job of it It has propelled them to overtake the top spot for cotton producers.
Well lets see, you know everything about everything, ie full of crap.
It is called r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h. Something you obviously know nothing about. Maybe mommy could help you out some, LOL.
I know the difference between r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h and B-S, as do most People.
I didn’t claim India didn’t need to import food, I merely pointed out that if their soil wasn’t best suited for profit, as you stated, it could be used to feed their Country.
You said that a community could provide for itself. That pretty much so sounds like they don’t need to import food. Now you are a proven cowardly liar you moron.
Your cowardly accusations are getting rather annoying their big brave seed seller.
Communities have thousands of years of success in recorded history, if not then humans would be extinct.
Industrial farming fails to recognize history and the industrial farming’s failings, which is apparent due to withholding facts and vital information that would damage their reputation.
Lol, yes the great with holding of information conspiracy theory. You are a riot there cowardly lion. Trying to retract your own statements.
Many of your conspiracy theories have come true, historical fact.
Cointelpro, the Military, used programs and catch words to instill fear and make the people run and hide. These programs are well documented and have been handed down to and implemented by the corporations.
I’m not running and hiding, I know these processes very well.
The corporate terrorism against sound and ethical science is being driven by these methods. Fact, that is why you will attack even innocents, to make people afraid or just give up.
Your corporate masters have been lying since 1901, do you really expect anyone to believe they will change. Their agenda and ability to destroy is well recorded.
Fact, not conspiracy.
Yes the ufos, Kennedy, the Monsanto controlling the world, lol none have ever come true there you moron.
Rather vague, please elaborate.
No I don’t have the time to lower it to moron language.
You said their soil was best suited for profit.
So their best source for fresh vegetables is Mexico?
Blind faith doesn’t feed the masses, the masses locally feed themselves.
Your just so great claiming greatness for things they can do themselves.
And you call me a moron.
Dicamba. 2,4-D. Yes. Some people have trouble understanding why the biotech industry has to return to using large amounts of the old poisons again. Oh yeah. Evolution and adaptation. Something Monsanto denied would ever happen in a detailed explanation to the US government in the mid 1990’s: weeds would not grow resistant to glyphosate, they said. So why is the industry returning to older poisons and adding them to glyphosate mixtures? Because the entire basis of GM crops is based on the biggest fraud in the history of science and as such is a complete and utter failure in every way.