Samples show presence
The team sampled air in 25 households, finding at least five pesticides in 60 percent of the dwellings. Nine other pesticides were identified in less than one-third of the homes.
Ninety-two percent of the air samples contained o-phenylphenol, which is used as a fungicide, germicide and household disinfectant, while 80 percent included chlorpyrifos, employed in agriculture to kill mosquitoes and other pests. Propoxur, present in granular baits, pet collars and other products, showed up in 76 percent of samples, along with the insecticide diazinon in 72 percent. The herbicide trifluralin turned up in 60 percent of samples.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2000 entered into an agreement to eliminate virtually all homeowner uses of chlorpyrifos, except ant and roach baits in child-resistant packaging. The EPA banned residential use of diazinon as of Dec. 31, 2004.
Pregnancy and pesticides don't mix
"Increasingly, pesticide exposures are being linked to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)," said co-author and STEER Director Claudia S. Miller, M.D., M.S., professor in environmental and occupational medicine with the Department of Family and Community Medicine. "Planning for pregnancy today should include not only prenatal vitamins and a good diet, but also avoiding potentially hazardous pesticides. Instead, use non-toxic approaches for pest control and IPM."
Environmental medicine researchers at the Harlingen campus modeled the pilot project on studies conducted by the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. These studies, which sampled air in homes of mother/newborn pairs in northern Manhattan or
|Contact: Will Sansom|
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio