Vol. 11, No. 4, 2005 Page 4


An encouraging report indicates that switching to an organic diet quickly reduces the levels of organophosphate pesticides in children's bodies. Organophosphates are strongly implicated as a culprit in learning and behavioral problems (see related articles, Crime Times, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 3, Page 1, Crime Times, 1998, Vol. 4, No. 4, Page 4, Crime Times, 2000, Vol. 6, No. 1, Page 2, and Crime Times, 2003, Vol. 9, No. 2, Page 1).

Chensheng Lu and colleagues recruited 23 children between the ages of 3 and 11 for their study, asking parents to feed the children a typical diet for three days and then switch them to an organic diet for five days. After that period, the children returned to their regular diets. The researchers took daily urine samples from each child before and during the intervention to measure pesticide levels.

When children changed to the organic diet, the researchers say, a "dramatic and immediate" drop in pesticide levels occurred. Two common agricultural pesticides, chlorpyrifos and malathion, were detected in all urine samples when children ate a typical diet, but disappeared in most urine samples during the organic-food period.

It is notable, the researchers say, that pesticides were not used in any of the children's homes. Thus, they say, their results "[support] the conclusion made by the National Research Council's 1993 report that dietary intake of pesticides could represent the major source of exposure in infants and young children."


"Organic diets significantly lower children's dietary exposure to organophosphorus pesticides," Chensheng Lu, Kathryn Toepel, Rene Irish, Richard A. Fenske, Dana B. Barr, and Robert Bravo, Environmental Health Perspectives, September 1, 2005 (epub). Address: Chensheng Lu, 1518 Clifton Road, NE, Room 226, Atlanta, GA 30322, clu2@sph.emory.edu.

Return to:
[Author Directory] [Front Page] [Issue Index] [Subject Index] [Title Index]