Organochlorine pesticides affect fetal motor activity

Photo Credit:  Peter Blanchard Photo Credit: Peter Blanchard

A study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology found that mothers with higher exposure to organochlorine (OC) pesticides such as DDT affected fetal motor activity. Fetal motor activity is an indicator of how the fetus is maturing and is a way to evaluate how exposures to persistent contaminants may be affecting the developing nervous system.  The study showed detectable levels of OCs in all of the women participating in the study, and higher OC levels were associated with higher socioeconomic status.  This study shows evidence for the need to protect the developing brain from effects of environmental contaminants even before birth.