Pyrethroid exposure linked to cognitive developmental disabilities in children

Photo credit: schizoform Photo credit: schizoform

The use of pyrethroid insecticides has increased drastically as they replace more toxic organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. However, a new study published in Environment International has found a correlation between pyrethroid insecticide exposure and decreased mental health in children. Studied were 287 mothers and their children in France, with urine samples collected from mothers during pregnancy and their children at age 6. Pyrethroid pesticide exposure was determined by measuring the concentrations of 3-PBA and cis-DBCA, metabolites found in urine after the pesticides are broken down in the body. The children’s cognitive ability was also assessed using a psychologist-administered cognitive abilities test. While no correlation was observed between maternal pyrethroid exposure during pregnancy and their children’s mental ability, researchers did find that children with higher concentrations of 3-PBA and cis-DBCA had poorer neurocognitive abilities, which may interfere with learning and social development.