Once again a study looked at pesticide exposure in humans and found health problems. This time a study by Univ. Of California researchers looked at exposures to the commonly used pesticides 2,4-D and glyphosate, and found that they are associated with neurobehavioral effects in teenagers.
Neurobehavioral effects means there are effects on the relationship between the brain and nervous system and behavior. The study found that 2,4-D had significant effects on brain function - with lower performance on tests measuring attention and inhibition control, language, memory/learning, and visual-spatial processing, while glyphosate had effects on social perception.
Studies finding harmful health effects from both of these pesticides (e.g., cancer, neurological effects, endocrine disrupting effects) are increasing each year.
By the way, almost all of us have the herbicide glyphosate (found in Roundup) in our bodies. Most of us also have 2,4-D residues in our bodies because of its common use as a weed-killer, especially in Feed and Weed products (used on lawns) and in crops.
We get pesticides into our bodies through the foods we eat and drink, air we breathe, and skin contact. Pesticide exposure to glyphosate and 2,4-D is actually increasing due to the increased use in genetically modified (e.g., Roundup Ready) crops and "preharvest" use in conventional crops.
Bottom line: Try to lower your exposure to pesticides. Eat organic foods as much as possible. (Glyphosate and 2,4-D are not allowed in organic food production.) Avoid using pesticides on your lawn. Use least toxic Integrated Pest Management for control of pests indoors and outdoors. Leave your shoes at the door.
From Medical Xpress: Research suggests commonly-used herbicide is harmful to adolescent brain function
Herbicides are the most used class of pesticides worldwide, with uses in agriculture, homes and industry. Exposures to two of the most popular herbicides were associated with worse brain function among adolescents, according to a study led by researchers at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at University of California San Diego.
In the Oct. 11, 2023 online issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, the researchers reported measuring metabolite concentrations of two commonly used herbicides—glyphosate and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4D)—and the insect repellent DEET in urine samples collected in 2016 from 519 adolescents, aged 11 to 17, living in the agricultural county of Pedro Moncayo, Ecuador. Researchers also assessed neurobehavioral performance in five areas: attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, language, visuospatial processing, and social perception.
"Many chronic diseases and mental health disorders in adolescents and young adults have increased over the last two decades worldwide, and exposure to neurotoxic contaminants in the environment could explain a part of this increase," said senior author Jose Ricardo Suarez, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor in the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health.
Among the findings:
- Glyphosate, a nonselective herbicide used in many crops, including corn and soy, and for vegetation control in residential settings, was detected in 98% of participants.
- 2,4D, a broadleaf herbicide used on lawns, aquatic sites, and agricultural crops, was detected in 66% of participants.
- Higher amounts of 2,4D in urine were associated with lower neurobehavioral performance in the domains of attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, and language.
- Glyphosate concentration in urine was associated with lower scores in social perception only, while DEET metabolites were not associated with neurobehavioral performance.
Following the introduction of genetically modified, glyphosate-resistant "Roundup-ready" crops in 1996 and 2,4D resistant crops in 2014, there have been substantial increases in glyphosate and 2,4D use, making them the most widely used herbicides in the world, wrote the authors.
Previous studies have linked exposure to some of the most used insecticides to altered neurocognitive performance while other insecticides may also affect mood and brain development....
The authors reported that 2,4D was negatively associated with performance in all five neurobehavioral areas, but statistically significant associations were observed with attention and inhibitory control, memory and learning, and language. Glyphosate had a significant negative association only with social perception, a test that measures the ability to recognize emotions, while DEET metabolites were not associated with neurobehavioral alterations.
"Hundreds of new chemicals are released into the market each year, and more than 80,000 chemicals are registered for use today," said Suarez. "Sadly, very little is known about the safety and long-term effects on humans for most of these chemicals. Additional research is needed to truly understand the impact."