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Prenatal pesticide exposure linked to low IQ

Women exposed to pesticides while pregnant may have children with low IQ scores, new research suggests.

April 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Women exposed to pesticides during pregnancy could have children with low IQ scores, three new studies suggest.

Three different studies, all published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that children scored lower on IQ tests by age 7, if their mothers had a higher than average exposure to certain pesticides.

While prenatal exposure to pesticides was significantly linked with childhood IQ, pesticide exposure after birth was not.

Researchers suspect exposure during fetal brain development was a more critical period than childhood exposure.

Experts stress the importance of thoroughly washing produce before eating it.