Are moms or expectant moms who work to reduce toxic chemicals in their environment extreme? Paranoid? Overly concerned?
Probably not, based upon a recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers investigated the impact of organophosphate (OP) insecticides in pregnant women and their pregnancy outcomes. Studying 306 mother/child pairs with high and low concentrations of pesticides in their bloodstreams from common household and environmental exposure. The study found that the women with the highest levels of exposure were more likely to have babies that were preterm or lower in birthweight.
"Preterm birth is probably the single most important factor for infant mortality," said Lanphear" a member of the research study team, as reported in the Huffington Post. He also added "that preterm birth and low birthweight have also been linked to a range of future health problems, from cognitive problems to heart disease."
Women are exposed to a wide range of pesticides, both within and outside of the home, increasing their risk for elevated exposure. Bug sprays, lawn care products, and conventional (non-organic) foods are primary sources of exposure.
Both preterm birth and low birthweight may have long-term consequences for the health and development of children. If that's not concerning enough, a 2011 Harvard Medical School study found that organophosphate insecticides in children may be linked to a lower IQ.
I think it's time we lay aside the "extremist" labels and start encouraging all young and expectant women to go organic!