[Pharmwaste] Premature Births Peak Seasonally When Pesticides And Nitrates In Surface Water Are Highest

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Wed May 9 09:53:45 EDT 2007

Here is the post from Bill Lewry that some people couldn't see:

Premature Births Peak Seasonally When Pesticides And Nitrates In Surface
Water Are Highest 

Science Daily - The growing premature birth rate in the United States appears
to be strongly associated with increased use of pesticides and nitrates,
according to work conducted by Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical
pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He reports his
findings May 7 at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting, a
combined gathering of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for
Pediatric Research, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association and the American
Academy of Pediatrics. 

Dr. Winchester and colleagues found that preterm birth rates peaked when
pesticides and nitrates measurements in surface water were highest
(April-July) and were lowest when nitrates and pesticides were lowest

More than 27 million U.S. live births were studied from 1996-2002. Preterm
birth varied from a high of 12.03% in June to a low of 10.44% in September.
The highest rate of prematurity occurred in May-June (11.91%) and the lowest
for Aug-Sept (10.79%) regardless of maternal age, race, education, marital
status, alcohol or cigarette use, or whether the mother was an urban,
suburban or rural resident. Pesticide and nitrate levels in surface water
were also highest in May-June and lowest in August --September, according to
the U.S. Geological Survey. 

For the past four years, Dr. Winchester and colleagues have focused attention
on the outcomes of pregnancy in Indiana and the United States in relation to
environmental pesticides and nitrates in surface and drinking water. Last
year at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting, Dr Winchester
reported that birth defects peak in Indiana and in the United States as a
whole during April through July, the same months as pesticides and nitrates
reach their maximum concentrations in surface water. This year's presentation
expands upon that work. 

"A growing body of evidence suggests that the consequence of prenatal
exposure to pesticides and nitrates as well as to other environmental
contaminants is detrimental to many outcomes of pregnancy. As a
neonatologist, I am seeing a growing number of birth defects, and preterm
births, and I think we need to face up to environmental causes," said Dr
Winchester, who is also director of Newborn Intensive Care Services at St.
Francis Hospital in Indianapolis. 

"Preterm births in the United States vary month to month in a recurrent and
seasonal manner. Pesticides and nitrates similarly vary seasonally in surface
water throughout the U.S. Nitrates and pesticides can disrupt endocrine
hormones and nitric oxide pathways in the developing fetus," he said. 

"I believe this work may lay the foundation for some of the most important
basic and clinical research, and public health initiatives of our time. To
recognize that what we put into our environment has potential pandemic
effects on pregnancy outcome and possibly on child development is a momentous
observation, which hopefully will help transform the way humanity cares for
its world," said James Lemons, M.D., Hugh McK. Landon Professor of Pediatrics
at the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Lemons is director of the section of
neonatal-perinatal medicine at the IU School of Medicine and heads the Riley
Hospital for Children of Clarian Health's section of neonatal-perinatal

Collaborating with Dr. Winchester on this study were Akosua Boadiwaa
Adu-Boahene and Sarah L. Kosten of the IU School of Medicine, Alex K
Williamson of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Ying Jun, Ph.D. of the
University of Cincinnati. The work was funded by the Division of Neonatology,
Department of Pediatrics of the IU School of Medicine.

Laurie J. Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 4555
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
PH: (850) 245-8759
FAX: (850) 245-8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us 

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