American Academy of Pediatrics says pesticides pose threat to ch - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

American Academy of Pediatrics says pesticides pose threat to children

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A leading medical group warns that chemicals meant to do good can pose a threat to children.

Pesticides are chemicals that kill insects and rodents and help control weeds, mildew, and germs.  Now, saying "children encounter pesticides daily and have unique susceptibilities to their potential toxicity," the American Academy of Pediatrics declares that children should have as little exposure to pesticides as possible.  Writing in the journal "Pediatrics," the group cites household insecticides, pet flea and tic products and agricultural pesticides as hazards.  But for many children, the statement says, their diet may be the most influential source.

The group says pediatricians have a poor track record of recognizing acute pesticide poisoning.  But even low levels of pesticide exposure can lead to pediatric cancers, lower cognitive functioning, and behavioral problems.

The authors say doctors should be vigilant for symptoms of pesticide exposure and the government should improve regulation of labeling and marketing.

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