Pesticide Contaminated Drinking Water and Health Effects on Pregnant Women and Children

Pesticide Contaminated Drinking Water and Health Effects on Pregnant Women and Children

Sanjeevi Ramakrishnan (NIMS University, India) and Anuradha Jayaraman (NIMS University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6111-8.ch007

Abstract

In the recent years, pesticide research and regulatory efforts have focused on the prevention of acute health effects from pesticide poisonings and pesticide residues on foods, but more attention is being given to the deleterious chronic health effects. Children and pregnant women's exposure to contaminated water in particular are at high risk for subsequent adverse health outcomes. The chapter summaries the health effects of water contamination.
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Pesticide Use And Its Effect On Children’S Health And Pregnant Women

More than 700 pesticide chemicals, including insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and fungicides, are currently registered with US EPA. These are chemicals deliberately engineered to kill or repel living things and thus have inherent toxic potential. Synthetic pesticides introduced after World War II are now ubiquitous. A 2000 US EPA survey demonstrated that 74% of US households use 1 or more pesticides around the home. Over time, insecticide use has evolved from chlorinated compounds such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) to organophosphates (OPs) and, more recently, pyrethroids. Though having low acute toxicity, organochlorine pesticides are persistent and associated with chronic health concerns. In making the switch to the OPs, we have substituted for the acute and neurodevelopmental toxicity of OPs.

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