City dwellers may be at risk for high pesticide exposure

Photo Credit:  William Warby Photo Credit: William Warby

Several studies have shown that living close to conventional farms can increase your risk of pesticide exposure, but a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that people living in cities may also be exposed to high levels of pesticides. The study focused of New York City residents, and looked at how urinary concentrations of pesticides in residents ages 20 and older compared to national averages. They found that the urinary levels of organophosphates were two to six times higher than the national average, and their levels of pyrethroids (commonly used in insecticides) were 1.7 to 2.4 times higher than the national average. Unfortunately, this study suggests that humans can be exposed to high levels of pesticides even when they are not living close to agricultural fields. Remember to choose organic when you can to avoid those pesticide residues.