Modern agricultural techniques employ a frequent use of fertilizers in order to elevate the fertility of the soil, promote the health of the crops, and increase the crop-yield in order to meet the needs of the growing population.
Fertilizers, especially of the class “Organophosphates” are reported to be hazardous and neuro-toxic at high doses. Children are at the highest risk of developing deleterious diseases that are caused by increased exposure to organophosphates. 33 million pounds of organophosphate pesticides have been reported to be used in the U.S. in 2007 alone. These pesticides not only are dreadful for the farm workers. In fact, they put uncountable people to risks.
Organophosphates were first developed to be nerve agents. They inhibit the enzyme “acetylcholine esterase” and hinder the neuro-muscular activities of an organism. They disrupt the pathway of the neurotransmitters, from the brain to the nerve endings, thus doesn’t allow the muscles and cells to function properly. Acetylcholine esterase breaks down acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter crucial for nerve conduction.
Farm-worker families from the agro-community in California were subjected to study. The participants were exposed to elevated levels of organophosphates used in the farms. The extent of hazard posed by the fertilizers was examined by measuring “dialkyl phosphate-DAP” in the urine of pregnant women and children of about 6 months, 1, 2, 3.5, and 5 years old.
The children and mothers exposed to the fertilizers showed greater levels of urinary DAP which was reported to be a sign of poor working memory, dealing out speed, oral comprehension, and perceptual interpretations. Moreover, children with high DAP were found to be a deficit of 7.0 IQ points.
Correspondingly, two more studies that observed children from diverse surroundings reported the mirrored conclusion. Exposure to these pesticides can have noteworthy and long-lasting effects on a child’s mental growth and could lower children’s IQ by as many as seven points!
The two studies that took place in New York employed children aged 6 to 9 who had been born to the mothers who bared an increased exposure to chlorpyrifos. IQ drops of 1.4 percent were reported among children, which is thought to cause them serious problems in maths and reading.
A study at European Parliament estimated that the use of pesticides causes 13 million IQ points to be lost each year.
Organophosphates constitute 50% of the killing substances in the chemical pesticides. Owing to the fact that they cause lethal reactions inside the body, some of them have been banned for residential use, but are widely available for their conventional use to grow crops like nuts, berries, citrus fruits, grapes, and broccoli.
In some cases, the pesticides were also reported to induce sterility among farm men. They were reported to disturb the hormonal balance which promoted defects regarding growth and reproduction.
The hazardous chemicals found in the pesticides may appear in the breast milk of a lactating mother. This may affect the immunity and nervous system of the feeding baby. Pregnant ladies must take care of their exposure to pesticides as much as they care about other problems. The pesticides have the potential to deteriorate the life you carry and suffer for!
The researchers have suggested switching to a healthful and organic diet. And avoid the use of pesticides at maximum because pesticides are like a slow poison, the hazards posed by them may not appear at once but cause long-term diseases lethal to the body.
The complete research is available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237357/