CropLife Statement on Study Addressing Pesticide Exposure & Neurodevelopmental Disorders

“Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study”

Published June 23, 2014, Environmental Health Perspectives

CLA Statement

“The University of California, Davis study that attempts to link proximity to pesticide applications with neurodevelopmental disorders instigates unnecessary fears. It incorrectly assumes that proximity equates to exposure, and that a single exposure is sufficient to cause harm. Both assumptions are incorrect. Pesticides are strictly regulated by federal and state bodies. These products are applied responsibly, according to federally mandated label instructions; as such, expectant mothers should not be concerned about exposure to these products.

“Protecting the well-being of expectant mothers, infants and elderly individuals is a top priority for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The registration process for pesticides is conducted with these populations fully in mind. The Agency conducts a risk assessment where toxicology data for a particular product are compared with estimates of exposure based on many studies evaluating chemical behavior in air, water and soil. EPA takes a precautionary approach in their evaluation of the potential for exposure associated with the legal use of pesticide products in concordance with label recommendations. They do this to ensure there is a large margin of safety for approved use so they can be confident that people are protected from harm.

“The crop protection industry is constantly seeking ways of reducing environmental impacts of pesticide products and reducing potential product drift. Advanced tools such as GPS technology, electrostatic sprayers and specialized spray nozzles allow applicators to use products with greater precision and care. EPA also establishes buffer zones to help disperse airborne pesticide residues and mitigate exposure that can occur as a result of pesticide drift.”

Dr. Clare Thorp, senior director, human health policy

Michael Leary