Environment Archive

Do Pesticides Harm Children’s IQ and Behavior?

Do Pesticides Harm Children’s IQ and Behavior?

By Alice Shabecoff

Alice Shabecoff is the co-author with her husband Philip of Poisoned for Profit: How Toxins Are Making Our Children Chronically Ill, Chelsea Green paperback (Random House hardback). www.poisonedforprofit.net

Pesticides can harm your child as much as they hurt insects, leading environmental scientists have discovered. Children exposed either in the womb or during childhood may end up with lowered IQ scores, or ADHD, or other behavioral and emotional problems.

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Mom-and-pop vs. big-box stores in the food desert

by Gary Nabhan, Kelly Watters, via Grist.org,

A locally owned grocery in Pleasantville, Iowa. Photo: Ashton B Crew, wikimedia commonsA few weeks ago, when the Obama administration released its Food Desert Locator, many of us realized that a once-good idea has spoiled like a bag of old bread. If you go online and find that your family lives in a food desert, don’t worry: You have plenty of company. One of every 10 census tracts in the lower 48 has been awarded that status.

Two years ago, when one of us (Gary) moved to the village of Patagonia, Ariz., he inadvertently chose to reside in what the USDA deems to be on the edge of a food desert. Its maps show that Gary now lives more than 15 miles away from a full-service supermarket or chain grocery store that has 50 or more employees and grosses $2 million or more in food sales each year. Apparently, that’s bad.

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Environmentally-Induced Childhood Disease Cost Estimated at $76.6 Billion

via Mt Sinai School of Medicine,

Industrial air pollutionIn three new studies published in the May issue of the journal Health Affairs, Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers reveal the staggering economic impact of toxic chemicals and air pollutants in the environment, and propose new legislation to mandate testing of new chemicals and also those already on the market.

Leonardo Trasande, MD, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, analyzed the costs of conditions–including lead poisoning, childhood cancer, asthma, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–associated with exposure to toxic chemicals.

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How to get your kids to become environmentalists

by Robert Lalasz, via Grist.org,

LEAF participants enjoy an afternoon at the beach after a morning of work at the Conservancy's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge in the Delaware Bayshores region. Photo: Erika Nortemann/TNCWant your kids to become ecologically conscious as adults? Get ’em into nature now—that’s the most reliable way to build their love of the outdoors, according to mountains of research.

But in a harried and always-online world (for parents as well as children), what’s it going to take to do that?

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Why Are Girls Hitting Early Puberty?

by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., via The Huffington Post,

Why are girls hitting early puberty?Today in the U.S., about 16 percent of girls enter puberty by the age of 7, and about 30 percent by the age of 8. A recent study determined that the number of girls entering puberty (defined by breast development) at these early ages has increased markedly between 1997 and 2010.

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Air Pollution Linked to Poorer Student Health, Academic Performance

via ScienceDaily.com,

Industrial air pollutionAir pollution from industrial sources near Michigan public schools jeopardizes children’s health and academic success, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers.

The researchers found that schools located in areas with the state’s highest industrial air pollution levels had the lowest attendance rates—an indicator of poor health—as well as the highest proportions of students who failed to meet state educational testing standards.

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How to avert allergies

by Joel Warner, via Delicious Living,

Allergy season is comingIf you’re one of the nearly one in three American adults who suffers from hay fever, you know the miserable symptoms all too well: itchy eyes, runny nose, and serial sneezes. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can bring relief, but also side effects such as sleepiness and anxiety.

This year, don’t wait until peak allergy season to fight back against that mountain of wadded tissues.

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Little Green Thumbs

by Melissa B. Williams, via SustainableTable.org

Confession: When I was a little girl, I used to sneak into the garden and eat all the carrots—and I mean all of them. It was no secret who did it: I was only about 4, and I’d leave the telltale carrot tops lying around as evidence of my consumption. My mother would lecture me about sharing, but I now know—as a mother myself—that she was really glowing with satisfaction. What mama wouldn’t want her child to “sneak” for carrots instead of a Twinkie or cupcake?

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Cadmium and Lead Found In Drinking Glasses

by JUSTIN PRITCHARD, via The Huffington Post,

Drinking glasses depicting comic book and movie characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz” exceed federal limits for lead in children’s products by up to 1,000 times, according to laboratory testing commissioned by The Associated Press.

The decorative enamel on the superhero and Oz sets—made in China and purchased at a Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank—contained between 16 percent and 30.2 percent lead. The federal limit on children’s products is 0.03 percent.

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Risk to kids from toxic pesticides may be underestimated, study finds

by Tom Laskawy, via Grist.org

When kids eat conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, what level of pesticide residues are they taking in — and to what effect?

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