Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Agrochemicals induce shorter gestation periods

"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. " (thanks Rania)

Research in Lebanon has shown elevated nitrate levels in the Litani river basin (I was part of the team) and in other places. Detecting pesticides is trickier, but the amounts used by farmers are a good indicator. Our research shows that cucumber (one of the most consumed crops in lebanon) is sprayed up to 30 times per season. Yes, you read well thirty. But its only fungicides, so it does not harm us. Ok maybe just a little. And wait till I tell you about strawberries.

No comments: