Prenatal exposure to organophosphate insecticides is associated with deficits in infant motor function

Organophosphate insecticides (OPs) are used for pest management not only in agriculture but also in residential settings and the general population is exposed to OPs mainly through the diet. A number of studies have shown association of OPs with developmental neurotoxicity since prenatal exposures to OPs have been found to be associated with deficits in IQ, attention deficit-hyperactivity and increases in autism spectrum.
A recent study aimed to investigate associations between prenatal exposure to 30 OPs in umbilical cord blood and motor function at 6 weeks and 9 months in a cohort of Chinese infants. It was found that prenatal exposure to naled and chlorpyrifos was associated with decreased 9-month motor function in infants. Delays in early-motor skill acquisition may be detrimental for downstream neurodevelopment and cognitive processes.
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