According to the Centers for Disease Control, people are exposed to OP pesticides through eating foods from crops treated with these chemicals. Farm workers, gardeners, florists, pesticide applicators and manufacturers of these insecticides may have greater exposure than the general population.
"Many people are also exposed when pesticides are used around homes, schools or other buildings," said study co-author Asa Bradman, associate director of the Center for Environmental Research in Children's Health (CERCH) at UC Berkeley.
The researchers recommended that consumers reduce their home use of pesticides, noting that most home and garden pests can be controlled without those chemicals. If pesticides are needed, they said bait stations should be used instead of sprays.
They also said that consumers should thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables; go beyond a quick rinse and use a soft brush, if practical. Consumers could also consider buying organic produce when possible as a way to reduce pesticide exposure from food, they said.
"I'm concerned about people not eating right based on the results of this study," said Eskenazi. "Most people already are not getting enough fruits and vegetables in their diet, which is linked to serious health problems in the United States. People, especially those who are pregnant, need to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables."
|Contact: Sarah Yang|
University of California - Berkeley