The Use of Pesticides With the Inland Port

Pesticide use will become an important issue related to the proposed  inland port.  Much of the area is wetlands and a haven for mosquitoes and other flying insects that make outdoor human activity miserable.  As the area becomes developed via the inland port and the prison, there will be increased pressure for wide spread use of pesticide spraying to control mosquitoes and biting gnats.

In recent years numerous medical experts and entire medical societies have made strong position statements regarding the danger to humans of even small doses of chemicals, and their link to obesity, cancer, heart disease, birth defects, reproductive pathology, and neurologic and brain disorders such as Parkinson’s, impaired intellect, autism and attention deficit disorder.  The American Academy of Pediatrics,  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), World Health Organization, and the Endocrine Society are all mainstream medical organizations that have, in one form or another, called for a sharp reduction in human exposure to chemicals.

For example, in June 2009, the Endocrine Society, comprised of 14,000 hormone researchers and endocrine medical specialists in more than 100 countries, warned that “even infinitesimally low levels of exposure [to endocrine-disrupting chemicals] –indeed, any level of exposure at all– may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window. Surprisingly, low doses may even exert more potent effects than higher doses.”  And in November 2009, the American Medical Association Board of Delegates approved a resolution that called on the federal government to minimize the public’s exposure to this group of chemicals.

At the top of the pyramid of all chemicals of concern to the medical community are pesticides (insecticides and herbicides) because they function as biological poisons to all living cells, from beneficial insects to humans.  Prominent researchers and medical societies have for years advocated a complete re-evaluation of the rationale behind their use.  It is increasingly clear that much of society’s use of pesticides is cavalier and represents poor priorities by causing unacceptable public health risk for dubious benefit.  

Almost regardless of where they are applied, through drift and volatilization, pesticides end up contaminating much of our air, water, food and soil.  Pesticides are now detected on the top of Mt Everest and the deepest parts of the oceans.  Pesticides are universally found in the blood and urine of almost all human beings everywhere, in new-born babies, in mother’s milk, and in domestic drinking water worldwide.  While the problem is certainly global, for Salt Lake Valley residents, the most important place to reduce chemicals usage is the valley itself. 

Cells are the common structural unit of the  biological world–plants, insects, animals and human beings.  Humans share the same cellular blueprint and basic biochemical metabolic processes with all other living organisms, including mosquitoes.  The most widely used insecticides were designed to be neurotoxic to insects, it should be no surprise then that they would be neurotoxic to humans as well.  A nerve cell in a mosquito damaged by an insecticide is almost identical to a nerve cell in a fetus which can also be damaged by the same insecticide.  That nerve cell can be just as critical to a fetus as it is to a mosquito. Virtually any chemical that a pregnant mother is exposed to will eventually be detectable in the blood of the developing fetus even if the mother has no adverse symptoms herself.  Regrettably, pesticides cross the placenta, contaminate the intrauterine environment, and impair fetal development.  

Pyrethroid compounds are the most commonly used insecticides for controlling adult mosquitos.  The research showing the toxicity of pyrethroids to human health is extensive.  Most pyrethroid compounds are endocrine disruptors and as such can interfere with human reproduction and act as carcinogens.  A likely manifestation of the endocrine disrupting potential of pyrethroids was the observation in a recent study showing that low-dose, short-term exposure to esfenvalerate, a synthetic pyrethroid pesticide, delays the onset of puberty in female rats at doses two times lower than EPA’s stated “no observable effect” level.

The World Resources Institute’s report entitled “Pesticides and the Immune System: The Public Health Risks,” documents the impact of widely used chemical pesticides on the immunity of animals and humans. Their conclusion, based on an extensive body of experimental and epidemiological research from around the world is;  “The impairment of the immune system by chemical pesticides can lead to allergies, autoimmune disorders such as lupus and cancer.  It may also lead to infections to which one may be normally resistant.”  Pesticide ingredients have also been shown to cause birth defects.

Humans begin as embryos, a stage of development at which they are in fact no larger than many insects.  The embryonic stage is also the most critical stage of development because exposure to environmental toxins during that time can compromise organ development setting the stage for many chronic diseases that don’t become manifest until adulthood.  For most organs, especially the human brain, there is no such thing as a second chance to develop properly.

Human embryonic brain development is particularly susceptible to toxins like insecticides that harm the nervous system because, as a group those chemicals are fat soluble, i.e. become stored in fatty tissue, and during the first seven months of intrauterine life, virtually the only fatty tissue of a human embryo is its nervous system, especially the brain.  This is one reason why insecticides can impair brain development even in humans, and at low doses.  

Implicating the risk of pyrethroids to fetuses at extremely small concentrations are studies showing toxicity to small invertebrates at concentrations of as little as two parts per trillion.  To put that in a more human context: just one drop of water, contaminated with a chemical at the concentration of one part per billion (1 ppb), can contain as many as 2.65 trillion molecules of the chemical, which is nearly 30 molecules for every cell in a newborn baby’s brain.

Recent studies show the clinical, neurologic consequences of pyrethroid exposure.  Pregnant women exposed to higher levels of an ingredient in pyrethroid insecticides gave birth to infants that scored significantly lower on intelligence tests three years later, and the magnitude was comparable to what would be expected from lead toxicity.   Other studies show children with high pesticide exposure scored as much as 7 points lower than less exposed children on IQ tests of verbal comprehension, working memory, processing speed, and perceptual reasoning.  Other studies showed that pregnant mothers with higher pesticide exposure give birth to smaller infants, comparable to what is seen if the mother actively smoked during the pregnancy.   Abnormal brain anatomy, confirmed by MRI scans, has been shown to be correlated to prenatal pesticide exposure.

Utah has had the unfortunate and persistent distinction of being first or second among all states in the rate of autism, which is increasing nationwide, something that should provoke alarm among our public officials.  Recently the rate of autism has reached a level of one in every 32 Utah boys (boys have about a 4.5 times rates of autism compared to girls). Utah should be particularly sensitive to any evidence that reveals the cause.  Recent studies indicate that the risk of autism is about one third due to genetic deficiency, and two thirds environmental exposures to chemicals and contaminants. Pesticides are one of the group of chemicals that have been identified as increasing the risk of autism. 

Pyrethroids seep indoors within any residences where spraying is conducted nearby, and they accumulate in dust and on household surfaces because they don’t break down indoors like they do in direct sunlight outdoors.  Children end up with higher blood concentrations of these chemicals than adults do because they spend more time near the floor and have much more hand to mouth activity.  Human exposure also occurs because these chemicals linger on vegetables and fruit. 

Moreover, safety claims regarding pyrethroids do not adequately take into account cumulative exposures.  If a woman conceived a child at the beginning of mosquito spraying season, her baby in utero is likely to be exposed to repeated, and perhaps constant doses of the insecticide for several months, during critical stages of embryonic development.  Furthermore, because no one is exposed to just one toxic chemical, or even just one pesticide, the toxicologic studies on chemical exposures never adequately assess the clinical consequences of our cumulative exposures, especially in embryos, fetuses, and infants.  Any public policy that is not safe for intrauterine development is not safe for society at large.

In addition to contributing to neurologic diseases, impaired intellect, and endocrine disruption, constant spraying of neighborhoods in mosquito abatement programs creates problems for chemically sensitive individuals.  Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome can afflict as much as 10-15% of the adult population.  For them, chemical exposures can be a debilitating nightmare that includes profound fatigue, nausea, coughing, bronchospasm, rashes, severe headaches and impaired mentation.  Insecticides are the most common triggers for the syndrome which can be precipitated by as little as one exposure event.

In summary, the attempt to make the NorthWest Quadrant inhabitable for humans and an economic hub would likely involve an unprecedented use of chemicals that are biologic poisons, increasing exposure to all residents of the Salt Lake Valley, something that cannot be dismissed as safe, especially for infants, children, and babies in utero.

Small sampling of recent research on pesticides and their affect on human and animal health

Pregnant mothers with high blood levels of the metabolites of DDT have a significantly increased for giving birth to a child later diagnosed with autism.

Brown AS, et al. Association of Maternal Insecticide Levels With Autism in Offspring From a National Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2018 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2018.17101129

Organophosphate pesticides are neurotoxins even at exposure levels below the threshold for known toxicity secondary to its presumed mode of action.  That indicates other mechanism of toxicity

Rauh V.  Polluting Developing Brains — EPA Failure on Chlorpyrifos.  N Engl J Med 2018; 378:1171-1174.  March 29, 2018.  DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1716809

Slotkin TA, Seidler FJ. Comparative developmental neurotoxicity of organophosphates in vivo: transcriptional responses of pathways for brain cell development, cell signaling, cytotoxicity and neurotransmitter systems. Brain Res Bull 2007;72:232-274.

Prenatal permethrin insecticide exposure linked to delayed neurodevelopment at 36 months, loss of intelligence of about 4 points

Horton M, et al.  Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Piperonyl Butoxide and Permethrin on 36-Month Neurodevelopment.  Pediatrics 2011; 127:3 e699-e706; doi:10.1542/peds.2010-0133

Pyrethroid pesticide exposure inversely associated with performance on intelligence tests in six year old children.

Viel J-F, et al.   Pyrethroid insecticide exposure and cognitive developmental disabilities in children: The PELAGIE mother–child cohort. Environment International, 2015; 82: 69 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2015.05.009

Levels of pyrethroid breakdown products in the urine were proportionally associated with a high level of  behavioral problems in children

Oulhote Y, Bouchard MF.  Urinary metabolites of organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides and behavioral problems in Canadian children. Environ Health Perspect 121:1378–1384;

Exposure to common pyrethroid pesticides speeds the onset of puberty in boys.

The Endocrine Society. “Pyrethroid pesticide exposure appears to speed puberty in boys.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 April 2017. <>.

Low level pyrethroid exposure affects learning, motor activity and sexual behavior in lab animals.

Lazarini C, Florio J, Lemonica I, Bernardi M. 2001. Effects of prenatal exposure to deltamethrin on forced swimming behavior, motor activity, and striatal dopamine levels in male and female rats.Neurotoxicol Teratol 23:665-67311792535.

Pesticides reach the fetus by passing through the placenta.

Bradman A, Barr DB, Claus Henn BG, Drumheller T, Curry C, Eskenazi B. 2003. Measurement of pesticides and other toxicants in amniotic fluid as a potential biomarker of pre-natal exposure: a validation study. Environ Health Perspect 111:1779-178214594631.

Young mammals, including humans, may be at risk of impaired neurological development from organophosphate pesticides, even at low, commonly encountered environmental levels.

Carr R, Alugubelly N and Mohammed A (2018) Possible Mechanisms of Developmental Neurotoxicity of Organophosphate Insecticides Linking Environmental Exposure to Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 10.1016/bs.ant.2018.03.004, (145-188),

Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides were associated with delayed mental milestones in 2 year olds.

Eskenazi B, Marks AR, Bradman A, Harley K, Barr DB, Johnson Cet al.. 2007. Organophosphate pesticide exposure and neurodevelopment in young Mexican-American children.Environ Health Perspect 115:792-798; doi:10.1289/ehp.982817520070. Google Scholar

Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides were associated with decreased non-verbal IQ measured at age 6.

Jusko T, van den Dries M, Pronk A, Shaw P, Guxens M, Spaan S, Jaddoe V, Tiemeier H and Longnecker M (2019) Organophosphate Pesticide Metabolite Concentrations in Urine during Pregnancy and Offspring Nonverbal IQ at Age 6 Years, Environmental Health Perspectives, 127:1, Online publication date: 1-Jan-2019.

Three-year-olds with high prenatal chlorpyrifos showed significantly more delays in psychomotor and mental development, and mothers reported more attention problems and symptoms of pervasive developmental problems.

Rauh VA, Garfinkel R, Perera FP, Andrews HF, Hoepner L, Barr DBet al.. 2006. Impact of prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure on neurodevelopment in the first 3 years of life among inner-city children. Pediatrics 118(6):1845-1859.

Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores are lower with prenatal exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide.  Children in the top 25 percent of exposure levels scored 5.5 percent lower in working memory tests and 2.7 points lower in IQ.

Rauh V, Arunajadai S, Horton M, Perera F, Hoepner L, Barr DB, et al. 2011. Seven-Year Neurodevelopmental Scores and Prenatal Exposure to Chlorpyrifos, a Common Agricultural Pesticide. Environ Health Perspect 119:1196-1201.

Bouchard M, Chevrier J, Harley K, Kogut K,  Vedar M, Calderon N, Trujillo C,  Johnson C,  Bradman A,  Barr D, Eskenazi B.   Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year Old Children. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1003185

Engel S, et al.  Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates, Paraoxonase 1, and Cognitive Development in Childhood. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1003183

Persistent motor deficits among children with high prenatal and early life exposure to chlorpyrifos.

Silver MK, Shao J, Zhu B, et al. Prenatal naled and chlorpyrifos exposure is associated with deficits in infant motor function in a cohort of Chinese infants. Environ Int 2017;106:248-256

Within a  population of 25.5 million children 0 to 5 years of age in the United States, this review calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphate pesticides.

Bellinger DC. A strategy for comparing the contributions of environmental chemicals and other risk factors to neurodevelopment of children. Environ Health Perspect 2012;120:501-507.

Prenatal and early life pesticide exposure is linked to a modest increase in the risk of autism

Bakian A, et al.  Pesticides and autism.  BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 20 March 2019)

Prenatal exposure to pyrethroids in the third trimester was associated with elevated odds of autism spectrum disorders

Shelton JF, Geraghty EM, Tancredi DJ, Delwiche LD, Schmidt RJ, Ritz B, Hansen RL, Hertz-Picciotto I. Neurodevelopmental disorders and prenatal residential proximity to agricultural pesticides: the CHARGE study. Environmental Health Perspectives (Online) 2014;122(10):1103.

Postnatal exposure to pyrethroids is associated Attention Deficit Disorder

Wagner-Schuman M, Richardson JR, Auinger P, Braun JM, Lanphear BP, Epstein JN, Yolton K, Froehlich TE. Association of pyrethroid pesticide exposure with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a nationally representative sample of US children. Environmental Health. 2015;14(1):44

Greater exposure to pesticides is significantly associated with autism, which is attenuated by higher consumption of folic acid

Schmidt RJ, et al.  Combined Prenatal Pesticide Exposure and Folic Acid Intake in Relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Sep 8;125(9):097007. doi: 10.1289/EHP604.

Prenatal exposure to the metabolites of pyrethroids associated with a variety of behavioral and executive functioning deficits.

Furlong M, et al.  Prenatal Exposure to Pyrethroid Pesticides and Childhood Behavior and Executive Functioning Neurotoxicology. 2017 Sep; 62: 231–238.  Published online 2017 Aug 12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2017.08.005

Glyphosate exposure in pregnancy is associated with shortened gestational length

Parvez S, et al.   Levels of glyphosate in urine of pregnant mothers showed inverse correlation with length of pregnancy.   Environmental Health201817:23 

POP (PCBs, DDT, DDE, and HCB), exposure increases risk of type II diabetes (highest 25% had a 350% increased incidence). 

Wu H, Bertrand KA, Choi AL, Hu FB, Laden F, Grandjean P, Sun Q. Persistent Organic Pollutants and Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Analysis in the Nurses’ Health Study and Meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect (): .doi:10.1289/ehp.1205248

Pesticides and other chemical exposure significantly increase the risk of type II diabetes and obesity in animals and humans

Wu H, Bertrand KA, Choi AL, Hu FB, Laden F, Grandjean P, Sun Q. Persistent Organic Pollutants and Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Analysis in the Nurses’ Health Study and Meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect (): .doi:10.1289/ehp.1205248

La Merrill M, Karey E, Moshier E, Lindtner C, La Frano MR, et al. (2014) Perinatal Exposure of Mice to the Pesticide DDT Impairs Energy Expenditure and Metabolism in Adult Female Offspring. PLoS ONE 9(7): e103337. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103337

Exposure to DDT increases obesity three generations later

Skinner M,  Manikkam M, Tracey R,  Guerrero-Bosagna C,  Haque M and Nilsson E.  Ancestral dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) exposure promotes epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity.  BMC Medicine 2013, 11:228 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-228

Roundup accumulates in human breast milk

Every human tested has shown Roundup in their urine at concentrations between five and twenty times the level considered safe for drinking water.

Boys More Vulnerable Than Girls to the Insecticide Chlorpyrifos: Lower IQs Seen in Boys Exposed in the Womb to Comparable Amounts of the Chemical

Horton M,  Kahn L, Perera F,  Barr D,  Rauh V. Does the home environment and the sex of the child modify the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos on child working memory? Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/

Exposure of rats to a commonly used fungicide, vinclozolin, affects brain function three generations after exposure.

Crewsa D,  Gillettea R,  Scarpinoa S,  Manikkamb M, Savenkovab M, Skinnerb M. 

Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of altered stress responses.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Published online before print May 21, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118514109

Use of fumigants and organochlorine insecticides is associated with significantly increased rates of depression and suicide among pesticide applicators.

Beard J, et al.  Pesticide Exposure and Depression among Male Private Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.  Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307450.

Just one significant pesticide exposure “event” is enough to precipitate significant cognitive decline among pesticide applicators

Starks SE, Gerr F, Kamel F, Lynch CF, Alavanja MC, Sandler DP, Hoppin JA.  High pesticide exposure events and central nervous system function among pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study. Int Arch Occup Environ Health; doi: 10.1007/s00420-011-0694-8 [Online 7 September 2011].

Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide, chlorpyrifos, including thinner cortex

Rauh V, et al.  Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide.  PNAS 2012 109 (20) 7871-7876; published ahead of print April 30, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203396109

Prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides linked to shortened gestational age and reduced birth weight.

Rauch SA, Braun JM, Barr DB, Calafat AM, Khoury J, Montesano MA, et al. 2012. Associations of Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticide Metabolites with Gestational Age and Birthweight. Environ Health Perspect :-.

Risks of Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline are increased with pesticide exposure

Pezzoli G, Cereda E.  “Exposure to pesticides or solvents and risk of Parkinson disease” Neurology 2013; 80: 2035-2041.

Ross S, McManus IC, Harrison V,  Mason O.  Neurobehavioral problems following low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides: a systematic and meta-analytic review.  Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Ahead of Print : Pages 1-24 (doi: 10.3109/10408444.2012.738645)

Richardson, J.  et al.  Elevated Serum Pesticide Levels and Risk for Alzheimer Disease   JAMA Neurol. Published online January 27, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.6030 

Moisan F,  et al.  Association of Parkinson’s Disease and Its Subtypes with Agricultural Pesticide Exposures in Men: A Case–Control Study in France.  Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307970

individual’s with a particular genetic make-up may be particularly sensitive to the neurodegenerative effects of certain pesticides.

Costello S, et a.   2009. Parkinson’s disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the Central Valley of California. American Journal of Epidemiology 169: 919-926.

Kelada SN,  et al.  2006. 5′ and 3′ region variability in the dopamine transporter gene (SLC6A3), pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease risk: a hypothesis generating study. Human Molecular Genetics 15(20):3055-3062.

Thiruchelvam M, et al.   2002. Developmental exposure to the pesticides paraquat and maneb and the Parkinson’s disease phenotype. NeuroToxicology 23:621-633.

Prenatal exposure to pesticides may predispose to adult onset Parkinson’s

Barlow BK,  Richfield EK, Cory-Slechtab DA,  Thiruchelvam M. 2004. A fetal risk factor for Parkinson’s disease. Developmental Neuroscience 26:11-23.

People with high levels of  DDT metabolites are four times more likely to have Alzheimer’s

Jason R. Richardson, PhD1,2; Ananya Roy, ScD2; Stuart L. Shalat, ScD1,2; Richard T. von Stein, PhD2; Muhammad M. Hossain, PhD1,2; Brian Buckley, PhD2; Marla Gearing, PhD4; Allan I. Levey, MD, PhD3; Dwight C. German, PhD5

Elevated Serum Pesticide Levels and Risk for Alzheimer Disease

JAMA Neurol. Published online January 27, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.6030

Meta-analysis showing cognitive functions such as psychomotor speed, executive function, visuospatial ability, working and visual memory are impaired with low dose exposure to pesticides.

Ross S, McManus IC, Harrison V,  Mason O.  Neurobehavioral problems following low-level exposure to organophosphate pesticides: a systematic and meta-analytic review.  Critical Reviews in Toxicology, Ahead of Print : Pages 1-24 (doi: 10.3109/10408444.2012.738645)

Insecticide in infant’s first stool linked to underdeveloped motor skills later.

Ostrea EM, et al.  2011. Fetal exposure to propoxur and abnormal child neurodevelopment at two years of age. Neurotoxicology

Pesticides associated with behavioral disorders in children

Oulhote Y, Bouchard M,   Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate and Pyrethroid Pesticides and Behavioral Problems in Canadian Children  Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306667

Ostrea EM, et al.  2011. Fetal exposure to propoxur and abnormal child neurodevelopment at two years of age. Neurotoxicology

Wagner-Schuman M, et al.  Association of pyrethroid pesticide exposure with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children.  Environmental Health 2015, 14:44  doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0030-y

Suarez-Lopez JR, et al.  Potential short-term neurobehavioral alterations in children associated with a peak pesticide spray season: The Mother’s Day flower harvest in Ecuador. NeuroToxicology, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuro.2017.02.002

Neonicotinoid pesticides harm brain development in human embryos, fetuses and infants

Kimura-Kuroda J, Komuta Y, Kuroda Y, Hayashi M, Kawano H (2012) Nicotine-Like Effects of the Neonicotinoid Insecticides Acetamiprid and Imidacloprid on Cerebellar Neurons from Neonatal Rats. PLoS ONE 7(2): e32432. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032432

Rauh V, et al.  Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide.  PNAS 2012 109 (20) 7871-7876; published ahead of print April 30, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1203396109

Residential proximity to  agricultural pesticides during pregnancy increases rates of autism by at least 60% and by an even greater amount for second and third trimester exposure.

Shelton J, Geraghty E, Tancredi D, et al.  Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study.  Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1307044

Pre-conception exposure of parents to pesticides (via professional application of pesticides for termites) increases the risk of childhood brain tumors

Greenop K, Peters S, Bailey H, et al.  Exposure to pesticides and the risk of childhood brain tumors.  Cancer Causes & Control.  April 2013

The mosquito repellent DEET is neurotoxic.

Corbel V, et al.  Evidence for inhibition of cholinesterases in insect and mammalian nervous systems by the insect repellent deet. BMC Biology

Women exposed to DDT before puberty, especially in infancy had much higher rates of breast cancer

Cohn B, et al. DDT and Breast Cancer: Prospective Study of Induction Time and Susceptibility Windows.  JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, djy198,  Published: 13 February 2019

Links between pesticides and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Bräuner EV,  Sørensen M,  Gaudreau E,  LeBlanc A,  Eriksen KT,  Tjønneland A, Overvad K,  Raaschou-Nielsen O.  A prospective study of organochlorines in adipose tissue and risk of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Environmental Health Perspectives

Pesticides are toxic to the bone marrow, increasing susceptibility to aplastic anemia

Chatterjee S, Basak P, Chaklader M, Das P, Pereira JA, Chaudhuri S, Law S.  Pesticide induced alterations in marrow physiology and depletion of stem and stromal progenitor population: an experimental model to study the toxic effects of pesticide.  Environ Toxicol. 2014 Jan;29(1):84-97. doi: 10.1002/tox.20775. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

Fleming LE, Timmeny W.  Aplastic anemia and pesticides. An etiologic association?  J Occup Med. 1993 Nov;35(11):1106-16.

Prihartono N; Kriebel D; Woskie S; Thetkhathuek A; Sripaung N; Padungtod C; Kaufman D.  Risk of aplastic anemia and pesticide and other chemical exposures.  Asia Pac J Public Health.  2011; 23(3):369-77 (ISSN: 1941-2479)

Pesticides associated with  low birthweight, shorter gestation of pregnancy.

Rauch SA, Braun JM, Barr DB, Calafat AM, Khoury J, Montesano MA, et al. 2012. Associations of Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticide Metabolites with Gestational Age and Birthweight. Environ Health Perspect :-.

DDT triples in breast milk after one household spraying.

Manacaa MN,  Grimaltb JO, Sunyerd J, Mandomandoa I, Gonzaleza R, Sacarlala J, Dobañoa C, Alonsoa PL, Menendez C.  Concentration of DDT compounds in breast milk from African women (Manhiça, Mozambique) at the early stages of domestic indoor spraying with this insecticide. Chemosphere

Some children are genetically susceptible to organophosphate pesticides.  Mothers that had increased organophosphate exposure had decreased fetal growth and length of gestation more often if the child showed genetic susceptibility.

Harley KG, Huen K, Aguilar Schall R, Holland NT, Bradman A, et al. (2011)  Association of Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Paraoxonase with Birth Outcome in Mexican-American Women. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23923. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023923 

Roundup’s “inert ingredients” induce apoptosis and necrosis in human umbilical, embryonic, and placental cells.   Concentrations were 100,000 times more dilute than retail formulations.  Proprietary mixtures available on the market could cause cell damage and even death around residual levels to be expected from home and garden use.

Benachour N and Gilles-Eric Seralini GE.  Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells   Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2009, 22 (1), pp 97–105  DOI: 10.1021/tx800218n

Rats exposed to Roundup and/or Monsanto’s new GMO corn developed tumors, wide spread kidney diseases and died earlier than controls. 

Séralinia GE,  Claira E,  Mesnagea R, Gressa S, Defargea N,  Malatestab M, Hennequin D, de Vendômois J.  Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.  Food and Chemical Toxicology

Available online 19 September 2012

One of the most widely used pesticides, Atrazine, causes male feminization across vertebrate classes

Hayes TB, et al. (2011). Demasculinization and feminization of male gonads by atrazine: Consistent effects across vertebrate classes. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 127, 64-73.

Roundup causes necrosis of testicular cells, decreased testosterone and infertility.

Claira E, Mesnagea R, Traverta C, Séralinia G.  A glyphosate-based herbicide induces necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels Toxicology in Vitro.  Volume 26, Issue 2, March 2012, Pages 269–279

Men exposed to more pesticide residues from eating fruits and vegetables have lower sperm counts

Chiu YH, et al.  Fruit and vegetable intake and their pesticide residues in relation to semen quality among men from a fertility clinic.  Hum. Reprod. (2015)  doi: 10.1093/humrep/dev064.  First published online: March 30, 2015

Pesticide Tributylin promotes obesity in mice from prenatal exposure, multiple generations are affected

Chamorro-García, R, M Sahu, RJ Abbey, J Laude, N Pham and B Blumberg. 2013. Transgenerational inheritance of increased fat depot size, stem cell reprogramming and hepatic steatosis elicited by prenatal obesogen tributyltin in mice. Environmental Health Perspectives

The insecticide pyriproxyfen causes keystone organism reproductive abnormalities for multiple generations.   Even 71 parts per trillion produced abnormalities.

LeBlanc G, Wang Y,  Holmes C, Kwon G, Medlock E.   A Transgenerational Endocrine Signaling Pathway in Crustacea. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (4): e61715 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061715

Pesticide applicators have shortened telomeres, markers of life expectancy

Hou L, et al.  Lifetime Pesticide Use and Telomere Shortening among Male Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study.  Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1206432

Pesticides associated with much higher rates of endometriosis, most likely via endocrine disruptor pathway

Upson K, AJ De Roos, ML Thompson, S Sathyanarayana, D Scholes, DB Barr, VL Holt. 2013. Organochlorine pesticides and risk of endometriosis: Findings from a population-based case-control study. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Maternal exposure to organochlorine pesticides increase the rate of asthma in offspring

Hansen S, M Strøm, SF Olsen, E Maslova, P Rantakokko, H Kiviranta, D Rytter, BH Bech, LV Hansen, and TI Halldorsson. 2013. Maternal concentrations of persistent organochlorine pollutants and the risk of asthma in offspring: Results from a prospective cohort with 20 years of follow-up. Environmental Health Perspectives.

Lung function in seven year olds was inversely associated with pesticide exposure in infancy and early childhood.

Raanan R, et al. Decreased lung function in 7-year-old children with early-life organophosphate exposure.  Thorax. 2016 Feb;71(2):148-53. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206622. Epub 2015 Dec 3.

Pesticide Methoxychlor causes epigenetic changes that are passed down at least three generations, leading to higher rates of kidney and reproductive diseases and abnormal rates of obesity.

Manikkam M, Haque MM, Guerrero-Bosagna C, Nilsson EE, Skinner MK (2014) Pesticide Methoxychlor Promotes the Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Adult-Onset Disease through the Female Germline. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102091. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102091

Exposure to more than one pesticide at a time (the exposure profile of almost everyone) can cause synergistic adverse health affects.

Takakura N, et al.  In vitro combined cytotoxic effects of pesticide cocktails simultaneously found in the French diet.  Food and Chemical Toxicology.  Volume 52, February 2013, Pages 153–162

DDT exposure linked to high blood pressure

Merrill M, Cirillo PM, Terry MB, Krigbaum NY, Flom JD, Cohn BA.

Prenatal Exposure to the Pesticide DDT and Hypertension Diagnosed in Women Before Age 50: A Longitudinal Birth Cohort Study.  Environ Health Perspect (): .doi:10.1289/ehp.1205921

Pesticides are the primary cause of Colony Collapse Disorder that is decimating the world’s bee population

Lu C, Warchol K, Callahan R.  Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder.  Bulletin of Insectology 67 (1): 125-130, 2014

Henry M,  et al. “A common pesticide decreases foraging success and survival in honey bees,” Science. doi: 10.1126/science.1215039.

Whitehorn PR, et al. “Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colony growth and queen production,” Science. doi: 10.1126/science.1215025.

Lu C,  Warchol KM, and Callahan RA. “In situ replication of honey bee colony collapse disorder,” Bulletin of Insectology, Vol. 65, June 2012

Cholinergic pesticides (nicotinoids and organophosphate miticides) impair nerve function and cause disorientation and cognitive dysfunction in honeybees.  These effects are observed at concentrations encountered by foraging honeybees and within the hive, and are additive with combined applications of the pesticides.

Palmer M,  Moffat C, Saranzewa N, Harvey J,  Wright G, Connolly C.  Cholinergic pesticides cause mushroom body neuronal inactivation in honeybees.   Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1634 doi:10.1038/ncomms2648

Neonicotinoid pesticides reduce numbers of new queens and male bees in colonies of free-foraging bees.

Arce AN, et al.  Combining realism with control: impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting. Journal of Applied Ecology, October 2016 DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12792

Thiamethoxam, one of the most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides, leads to fewer fully developed eggs in queen bumblebees from four wild bumblebee species.

Baron GL, et al.   General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2017; 284 (1854): 20170123 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0123

Neonicotinoid exposure has both acute and chronic effects that impair foraging activity in bumblebees. 

Gill R, and Raine N.  Chronic impairment of bumblebee natural foraging behaviour induced by sublethal pesticide exposure.  Function Ecology. published online: 7 JUL 2014 | DOI:


A widely used pesticide, thiamethoxam, harms honey bees by significantly impairing the ability of otherwise healthy honey bees to fly

Tosi S, Burgio G, Nieh JC.   A common neonicotinoid pesticide, thiamethoxam, impairs honey bee flight ability. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-01361-8

Herbicide Imprelis likely responsible for the deaths of millions of white pine and Norway spruce throughout the country

Roundup causes physical changes in animals, inducing antipredator morphology

Relyea, RA. 2012. New effects of Roundup on amphibians: Predators reduce herbicide mortality; herbicides induce antipredator morphology. Ecological Applications 22:634–647.

Common pesticides ‘can kill frogs within an hour’

Brühl C,  Schmidt T,  Pieper S,  Alscher  A.  Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline?  Scientific Reports 3, Article number: 1135 doi:10.1038/srep01135  Received 09 November 2012 Accepted 11 January 2013 Published 24 January 2013

Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with neonicotinoid pesticides

Hallmann C,  Foppen R, van Turnhout C, de Kroon H, Jongejans E.   Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations.  Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature13531. 

Invertebrates decline significantly in water contaminated with Imidacloprid

Van Dijk TC, Van Staalduinen MA, Van der Sluijs JP (2013) Macro-Invertebrate Decline in Surface Water Polluted with Imidacloprid. PLoS ONE 8(5): e62374. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062374