A new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley has found that children may remain susceptible to pesticides for longer than had previously been thought.
Scientists have long known that infants are more vulnerable than adults to pesticides because infants have a low level of a key enzyme, PON1. But it had been thought that, by the time children turned 2, the PON1 enzyme was at adult levels. The UC Berkeley researchers have now found that PON1 levels stay low in some children through age 7 and are calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to rethink its rules on pesticide exposure. The EPA began restricting organophosphate pesticides in household products eight years ago, but they are still used in conventional agriculture.
You can read Berkeley’s press release on the study here.