Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

54% of pregnant women use insecticides that are harmful to the fetus, Spanish study shows

Date:
June 20, 2013
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Pregnancy and infancy are the periods of greatest vulnerability to the use of household insecticides. This is one of the findings of the first study of its kind to be carried out in Spain, which concludes that more than half of expectant mothers routinely use these chemical compounds. Spanish researchers have described the use of domestic pesticides during pregnancy and the first year of life in nearly 2,500 women and children.

Spraying gooseberry bush against pests.
Credit: © natalikaevsti / Fotolia

Pregnancy and infancy are the periods of greatest vulnerability to the use of household insecticides. This is one of the findings of the first study of its kind to be carried out in Spain, which concludes that more than half of expectant mothers routinely use these chemical compounds.

Related Articles


Spanish researchers have described the use of domestic pesticides during pregnancy and the first year of life in nearly 2,500 women and children in Sabadell, Guipúzcoa and various areas of Asturias and the Valencian Community.

The study, published in Science of the Total Environment, also considers the socio-demographic and lifestyle factors most strongly linked to the use of these pesticides.

In 2003 and 2008, the authors monitored the women who agreed to take part in the project from the beginning of their pregnancy until birth and during their offspring's first few years of life.

"Pesticides are used in domestic environments to control infestations of insects or other living creatures," explains Sabrina Llop from the Higher Public Health Research Centre (CSISP) in Valencia, the leading author of the paper. "Exposure during pregnancy or infancy proves to have a negative impact on fetal growth and neurological effects, as well as increasing the risk of childhood leukemia," she continues.

The results show that 54% of pregnant women used some kind of insecticide inside the home and 15% made use of a combination of two or three methods.

45% of women used some kind of insecticide in their bedrooms: 5% throughout the whole year, 75% seasonally and 20% on an occasional basis. The most frequently used method in the bedroom was the electric device at 62%.

47% of pregnant women used insecticides in the rest of the house, 7% throughout the whole year, 67% seasonally and 26% occasionally. The most widely used method by women in other areas of the house was insecticide spray at 69%.

2% of women used other kinds of measures to control infestations in their bedrooms and 5% in the rest of the house. These other measures included cockroach traps, powder insecticide and chemical methods such as wave devices. Only 1% of women used insect repellents during pregnancy.

10% of pregnant women used outdoor insecticides, such as in gardens or vegetable plots and yards with plants: 9% every month, 14% every 2-3 months, 20% three times a year and 57% occasionally.

"These results are significant because they enable this information to be used to come up with preventive measures, especially at vulnerable stages of life," Llop affirms.

The less educated, the more pesticides

"Multiparous women, born in Spain, with a lower level of education, who have a garden, whose residence is near crops, and/or from Sabadell or Valencia are the most likely to use household pesticides," Llop asserts.

The use of these pesticides continued during their offspring's first year of life, although 20% of the women stopped using them. Sprays were the method that the participants were most likely to stop using in their bedrooms: 53% during pregnancy and 26% during infancy. In contrast, the use of the electric device remained constant.

Exposure routes

The main ways of being exposed to these substances are inhalation, skin contact and unintentional ingestion. In babies and children, ingestion of contaminated dust in the house is the most significant route of exposure to pesticides in the home.

The authors attribute this to babies spending more time at home and in general wearing fewer clothes than adults. In addition, their breathing zones are closer to the ground, where pesticide residue levels can be higher, and they are more likely to have close contact with plants, grass and other surfaces.

"Fetuses and children are especially vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their detoxification mechanisms and immune systems are not fully developed," Llop concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sabrina Llop, Lidia Casas, Loreto Santa Marina, Marisa Estarlich, Ana Fernández-Somoano, Ana Esplugues, Ana Jimenez, Jan-Paul Zock, Adonina Tardón, Alfredo Marco, Ferran Ballester. Prenatal and postnatal residential usage of insecticides in a multicenter birth cohort in Spain. Science of The Total Environment, 2013; 445-446: 273 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.12.031

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "54% of pregnant women use insecticides that are harmful to the fetus, Spanish study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620100832.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2013, June 20). 54% of pregnant women use insecticides that are harmful to the fetus, Spanish study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620100832.htm
Plataforma SINC. "54% of pregnant women use insecticides that are harmful to the fetus, Spanish study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620100832.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins