2: Birth Outcomes

Introduction

Over 30 years of research has documented that herbicide exposure in the first trimester of pregnancy is most likely to have negative impacts.

Prenatal and early-life exposures to herbicides have been linked to a range of adverse reproductive outcomes, developmental abnormalities, and chronic diseases. Women and children in areas where a high percentage of the landscape is sprayed with herbicides annually are at heightened risk.

Research over 30 years shows that exposures during the first trimester of pregnancy are the most likely to trigger reproductive problems and developmental deficits (e.g., lower IQ or birth weight, impaired immune response, metabolic disorders).

In addition, herbicide exposures can trigger epigenetic changes in the developing child that can increase the odds that later in life, a person will struggle with overweight and/or diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or neurological and immune system problems. Emerging science suggests that some epigenetic impacts can become part of the human genetic code, and thereafter be passed on to future generations.

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