by Julie Wilson, Natural News:
Aerial spraying of pesticides to kill mosquitoes, may be linked to an increase in autism spectrum disorder and development delays in children, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies on Saturday, April 30.
While health authorities have increasingly encouraged pesticide spraying to combat mosquitoes carrying a birth defect-inducing virus, new research suggests that the chemical application may actually be causing birth defects.
Scientists reached their findings after they observed a 25 percent increase in autism and developmental disorders among children living in areas where aerial spraying for mosquitoes has been used since 2003, according to the study, titled “Aerial Pesticide Exposure Increases the Risk of Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
Researchers “identified a swampy region in central New York where health officials use airplanes to spray pyrethroid pesticides each summer. The pesticides target mosquitos [sic] that carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus, which can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord,” reports the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Pyrethroids, synthetic chemicals used to kill flea and tics, may be linked to autism
“They found that children living in ZIP codes in which aerial pesticide spraying has taken place each summer since 2003 were approximately 25 percent more likely to have an autism diagnosis or documented developmental delay compared to those in ZIP codes with other methods of pesticide distribution, such as manually spreading granules or using hoses or controlled droplet applicators.”
Pyrethroids are manmade chemicals that structurally resemble pyrethrum, a naturally occurring toxin found in certain chrysanthemum flowers, discovered to have insecticidal properties in the 1800s, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Pyrethroids are more toxic to insects and mammals, and persist longer in the environment, than pyrethrum.
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