Pollutants linked to 450 percent increase in risk of birth defects

   Oct 20, 12:49 pm

Washington, Oct 20 (ANI): Pesticides and coal and oil pollutants increase the risk of certain birth defects including spina bifida and anencephaly by an alarming 450 percent in rural China, a new research has revealed.

According to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University, two of the pesticides found in high concentrations in the placentas of affected newborns and stillborn fetuses were endosulfan and lindane.

Endosulfan is only now being phased out in the United States for treatment of cotton, potatoes, tomatoes and apples. Lindane was only recently banned in the United States for treatment of barley, corn, oats, rye, sorghum and wheat seeds.

Strong associations were also found between spina bifida and anencephaly and high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are byproducts of burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal. Spina bifida is a defect in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. Anencephaly is the absence of a large part of the brain and skull.

"Our advanced industrialized societies have unleashed upon us a lot of pollutants," says Richard Finnell, professor of nutritional sciences and director of genomic research at the Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.

"We've suspected for a while that some of these pollutants are related to an increase in birth defects, but we haven't always had the evidence to show it. Here we quite clearly showed that the concentration of compounds from pesticides and coal-burning are much higher in the placentas of cases with neural tube defects than in controls."

The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

WHO warns Ebola cases could reach 20,000 by November Sep 23, 5:55 pm
Washington, Sep 23 (ANI): A new report from the World Health Organization has warned that the number of people infected with the Ebola virus could reach 20,000 by the beginning of November if efforts to contain the outbreak are not accelerated.
Full Story
Deep brain stimulation may aid patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder Sep 23, 4:27 pm
Washington, Sept 23 (ANI): A new research has revealed that the deep brain stimulation (DBS) is effective on patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that doesn't respond to other medications.
Full Story
Compound from beer improves cognitive function in young animals Sep 23, 1:34 pm
Washington, Sept 23 (ANI): A new research has revealed that a type of flavonoid found in hops and beer, xanthohumol, aids cognitive function in young mice, but not in older animals.
Full Story
Taking 'TV-free days' keeps you fit Sep 23, 1:34 pm
London, Sept 23 (ANI): A new research has revealed that the long hours spent on watching Television should be limited in order to avoid gaining weight.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY