24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Rewarding Kids Without FoodDo Older Dads Produce Brainy Boys?USPSTF Concludes Screening for Obesity Beneficial for ChildrenFirearms Kill or Wound 7,000 U.S. Children AnnuallyGuns Kill or Wound 7,000 U.S. Kids a Year: ReportTime for Some Summer Sun Safety TipsHealth Tip: Applying Sunscreen on ChildrenMany Preemies Don't Struggle in SchoolHealth Tip: When Your Child Won't Eat LunchResearchers Target Zolmitriptan Dosing for Pediatric MigraineMigraine Warning Signs May Differ in Kids, AdultsHealth Tip: Keep Germs Out of Pool WaterWhen a Divorce Turns Bitter, Kids' Immune Systems May Pay a PriceBrush Up on Swim Safety for SummerLawn Mowers Are Risky Business for KidsAre All Those 'Fidget Spinners' Really Helping Kids?1 in 5 U.S. Kids Killed in Crashes Not Restrained ProperlyHelping Ease Kids' Fears After Manchester Terror AttackOverweight in Childhood May Up Lifetime Risk of DepressionOverweight Boys Face Higher Colon Cancer Risk as AdultsHeavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in AdulthoodHealth Tip: Limit a Young Child's Media TimeMany Parents Underestimate Drowning RisksChildren Express Positive Views of Digital Tracking by StrangersToo Many Parents Say No to Helmets for Kids on WheelsHear This! Keep Cotton Swabs Out of Kids' EarsHealth Tip: Be a Safe Driver for Your Kids'Dr. Google' May Undermine Parents' Trust in Their PediatricianPAS: Hospitalizations Up for Suicidal Thoughts, Actions in KidsGuns Send About 16 U.S. Kids to the Hospital Every DayWhen Grandparents Raise Grandkids, Are They Up to Date on Child Safety?More Starring Roles for Booze in Kids' Movies, Study FindsThe Family That Eats Together, BenefitsAre Smartphones Helping or Harming Kids' Mental Health?More Active Kids Could Save U.S. Billions in Health Costs: StudyTrump Administration Rolls Back Obama-Era School Lunch RulesAre Bullies Getting Run Out of U.S. Schools?Health Tip: Turn Off Those ScreensKids' Sun Safety Means 'Slip, Slap, Slop'Pediatricians Missing Elevated Blood Lead Levels in U.S.AAP Stresses Medical Home Best for Acute Health ConcernsAre Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?Checklist for Family-Centered Rounds Deemed BeneficialChildren With Suspected Child Abuse Present to Hospital LateCancer Risk Rises After Childhood Organ Transplant: StudyModel Predicts Which Pediatric ER Patients Likely to Be AdmittedObesity Quadruples Kids' Type 2 Diabetes Risk: StudyAre You Raising an 'Emotional Eater'?More Risks on School Playgrounds Linked to Happier ChildrenKids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling Dies
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

Could Common Insecticides Be Tied to Behavior Issues in Kids?

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 2nd 2017

new article illustration

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Children exposed to a widely used group of insecticides may be at increased risk for behavioral problems, according to a new study.

The insecticides are called pyrethroids. They're used on crops but can also be found in some mosquito repellents and in products used to treat head lice, scabies and fleas, the French research team explained.

Like many types of insecticides, pyrethroids work by damaging nerves, and concerns have recently been raised about their possible effects on children who have been exposed.

The study can't prove cause-and-effect. However, according to one child psychiatrist, it does raise troubling questions.

"The pesticide class studied are considered 'safe' pesticides and this study is cause for concern as to how safe it really is," said Dr. Matthew Lorber, who reviewed the new findings. He directs child and adolescent psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The new study was led by Jean-Francois Viel of the University Hospital in Rennes, France. His team measured hundreds of pregnant women's exposure to pyrethroids, as well as their children's exposure, by assessing levels of pyrethroid metabolites in their urine.

At age 6, the children underwent behavioral assessments.

Viel's team found a link between pyrethroids and behavioral problems in the children.

Specifically, higher levels of a certain pyrethroid-linked chemical in the urine of pregnant women was associated with an increased risk of internalizing behaviors -- for example, an inability to share problems and ask for help -- in their children.

The presence of one such chemical in children's urine was also associated with an increased risk of externalizing disorders -- defiant and disruptive behaviors. And another pyrethroid-linked chemical was associated with a lower risk of externalizing disorders, the researchers said.

Overall, children with the highest levels of pyrethroid metabolites in their urine were about three times more likely to have abnormal behavior, the French study found.

Pyrethroids may trigger behavioral problems by affecting neurochemical signaling in the brain, the study authors suggested.

"The current study suggests that exposure to certain pyrethroids at the low environmental doses encountered by the general public may be associated with behavioral disorders in children," Viel's group wrote.

For his part, Lorber called the findings "concerning, because the amounts determined to be 'low exposure' are consistent with what children are typically exposed to in the environment."

Dr. Andrew Adesman is chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He agreed with Lorber that the findings suggest that pyrethroids "may not be as safe as we would like when it comes to young children."

According to Adesman, "Common sense suggests that pregnant women should minimize their exposure to insecticides and other toxins, as well as other industrial chemicals. Further study is warranted to determine if the insecticides that are now widely used are indeed as safe as people believe."

The study was published online March 1 in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on pesticides.