Pregnant? Put Down the Pesticide

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/carolinaturck/2418906482/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Carolina Turck</a>/Flickr

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Exposure to pesticides while pregnant can cause women to give birth earlier, and to have smaller babies, according to a new study in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The study found that the expectant women exposed to organophosphate insecticides were more likely to give birth a few days earlier, and their babies weighed at least a third of a pound less at birth. These are the most common type of pesticides used around the world. And as Huffington Post reporter Lynne Peeples notes that these weren’t women working in agriculture or lawn care, who might be exposed to large amounts of the pesticides—they were just your average pregnant ladies:

“This is not an unusual group,” said Dr. Bruce Lanphear, about the women who were studied. “These are women exposed primarily through diet and perhaps pesticides used in and around the yard,” said Lanphear, a researcher on the study of organophosphate pesticide exposure published Thursday in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Nearly all pregnant women carry pesticide residues in their bodies. The new study’s 306 expectant moms — from a diverse range of economic and racial groups and from urban, suburban and rural areas in and around Cincinnati — were no exception.

This is bad news for babies, as preterm birth is a major factor in infant mortality, and being born at lower weights is linked to long-term health concerns like delayed development or learning disabilities.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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