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19 December 2005 | Printer friendly

PAN Belgium scientific review on the effects of pesticides on children’s health

PAN (Pesticide Action Network) Belgium published in october 2004 a scientific review of epidemiologic studies on the effects of pesticides on children in terms of congenital diseases and childhood cancers. It was written by Dr. Jacques Sténuit and Marie-Louise Van Hammée. The bibliographical research is mostly based on the specialized review made by ZAHM and WARD, « Pesticides and Chilhood Cancer » (1998) and on the one from MOSES, « Cancer in Children and Pesticides Exposure » (2002).

The review concludes that even if all the studies do not show a significant increase in the incidence of congenital diseases and cancers in children submitted to pesticides, it is certain that these products have toxic agents suspected to interfere irremediably on their health. The most dangerous pesticides seem to be the agricultural pesticides as well as those insecticides, herbicides and fongicides used in houses and gardens.

Moreover, the urine analysis made in European children show that chemicals from pesticides go through the whole alimentation chain. And the rain itself can contain up to 117 pesticides (analyses made by the Vlaamse Milieu Maatschappij, VVM).

Finally, the conclusion also stresses the fact that toxicological analyses are based on adults and not on vulnerable groups such as children and foetuses.

The review is organised in four chapters:
1- The carcinogenicity of pesticides in the agricultural population
2- The Immunotoxicology of pesticides and PCBs
3- Endocrine disrupting pesticides
4- Pesticides and children

More information from PAN Belgium (tel: 082 61 1440) or Inter Environment Wallonie (tel: 081 25 52 80)

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