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Pollutants > Pesticide Birth Defects

Pregnant women should be careful to avoid exposure to insecticides, herbicides and other pesticides during pregnancy because these often contain a variety of chemical substances known to cause birth defects.

When pesticides are employed, experts recommend the following precautions:

  • Pesticides should not be sprayed or otherwise applied when pregnant women are present
  • All cookware, dishes, and eating utensils should be removed from the environment before application of any pesticide
  • When pesticides are applied outside all windows should be closed and all air conditioners turned off
  • Pregnant women should avoid treated areas for at least eight hours following application
  • Treated areas of applications indoors must be adequately ventilated for several hours after the application
  • Rubber gloves should always be worn when gardening
  • All products containing DEET (insect repellants) should be avoided during pregnancy
  • Pregnant women should completely avoid contact with lindane, the prime active ingredient in "Kwell" shampoo and other treatments for head lice, scabies and other ectoparasites. Because of its toxicity, lindane has been banned altogether in 52 countries and the state of California, and legislation banning its use for head lice treatment is being promoted in the New York legislature. Lindane, also called gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) or benzene hexachloride (BHC), is known to have caused seizures, blood disorders, and brain cancer in children, as well as fetal central nervous system damage.

Many pesticides are known to disrupt the endocrine system and may increase the risk of birth defects, including alachlor, amitrole, atrazine, carbaryl, chlordane, dieldrin, DDT, endosulfan, oxycholordane, metribuzin, nitrofen, fungicides, benomyl, metiram-complex, hexachlorobenzene, mancozeb, maneb, tributyl tin, zineb, zirem, and many more.

Judge criticizes state rules in Ag-Mart pesticide case

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A judge evaluating state fines against tomato grower Ag-Mart has issued a strong recommendation that Florida agriculture officials upgrade record-keeping requirements to more accurately determine if growers are protecting their workers from dangerous pesticides.

Read More

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