Post-natal exposure to household pesticides may harm infants’ gross motor development

New research released in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology found that post-natal exposure to household pesticides may harm infants’ gross motor development during early childhood.

The study was conducted by experts at the University of Southern California.

During the study, telephone questionnaires were administered to nearly 300 mothers who had recently given birth as part of the Maternal and Developmental Risks from Environmental and Social Stressors pregnancy cohort.

Exposure to household pesticides, commonly used for rodents and insects, was assessed among the infants at three months of age. Gross and fine motor development was also assessed by six months of age.

“Infant gross motor scores were reverse coded so that higher scores indicated lower gross motor performance. Negative binomial regressions were performed to assess the relationship between household pesticide use and infant gross motor development,” the authors of the study explained.

“Our results suggest household use of rodent and insect pesticides may harm infants’ gross motor development in early childhood,” the research team concluded.

“Future research should evaluate the impact of specific household chemicals in infant biospecimens and their associations with infant motor development to confirm these findings.”