Pesticide Exposure and Autism

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There is ample proof to show that pesticides are contributing to the steep rise of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and developmental delay (DD.)


The latest study was published a few weeks ago on June 23, 2014 in Environmental Health Perspectives.


This study specifically links prenatal exposure of organophosphates (the most commonly applied agricultural pesticide) and other commonly used pesticides to autism rates in offspring.


Pesticides are neurotoxins that are clearly having a known, predictable and permanent effect on the developing fetal neurology during gestation.

This particular study looked at northern CA residents (the state of CA alone uses approximately 200 MILLION POUNDS of active pesticides EACH YEAR) and tracked pesticide exposure during pregnancy. They looked at an association with living near commercially used agricultural areas that apply pesticides and exposure during pregnancy.


Studying almost to 1,000 children, the results showed:

  • Children with ASD were 60% more likely to have had organophosphate pesticides applied near their home (1.25 km distance)


  • The risk was highest for those exposed to organophospates in their third trimesters, those exposured to chlorpyrifos in the second trimester, and those exposed to pyrethroid (a commonly used insecticide) during the 3 months BEFORE BECOMING PREGNANT or during the third trimester


  • Organophosphates and pyrethroids are two of the most commonly applied agricultural pesticides.


  • Children with DD were 150% more likely to have had carbamate pesticides applied near their home during ANY POINT of the pregnancy.


This just adds to the already largely accumulating data that proves pesticides are a significant contributing factor to the increase rates of autism and developmental delay… this is the third study to show a definitive association between living in areas where agricultural pesticides are used and an increase risk of autism.

This information is released right on the heals of the latest medical study I shared with you on my blog in April 2014 that shows pesticides causing a 400% increase in Alzheimers.


These pesticides are CLEARLY having a dramatic affect on our neurology.

They are affecting OUR central nervous system… not just prenatally, but throughout our entire life.

Neonate to elderly.


What positive, healthy things can you do to support children with ASD and DD?


Barefoot Is Best1. EARTHINGâ„¢:


As I talked about during my interview on NYC radio here… autism is supported immensely by Earthingâ„¢.

This is likely for dual reasons…

1. Earthing reduces the effects of EMF exposure (to which autistic children are exquisitely sensitive)


2. Sleeping grounded helps to deepen time spent in restorative sleep (sleep disturbances being another hallmark of ASD)

(for help on sleeping grounded, click here.)


2. Fish Oil:


As I blog about here, fish oil is a great soother for our CNS.

Helpful for other neurological conditions including depression, anxiety, and even ADHD, there are lots of formulations for ultra pure fish oil that your children can take, even if they can’t swallow a pill.




3. Probiotics


Just like with fish oil, probiotics in the gut have a huge impact on our nervous system. There is a HUGE link between gut health and brain function, as well as whole body support both immunologically and emotionally.

Probiotics have been shown to have a beneficial role on our brain, as I blog about here.

Children can get probiotics in the form of a supplement, yogurt, Kiefer, kumbucha, even chocolate bars.



4. Decrease heavy metal exposure: reconsider exposing your child to vaccinations and be sure any fish or fish oil products you use are purified.



5. As evidenced by today’s blog post, eat organic produce whenever possible and feed your children organic produce, to avoid pesticides both prenatally and after birth.




6. Homeschool.

If your child does not fit in the mold of the public or private schooling system, homeschooling is one option that I am extremely passionate about.

Read more about why I homeschool my children, here.

xoxoxo, Laura