More than 4 billion pounds of pesticides (including herbicides) are used annually in the
Several common classes of pesticides have the potential for dangerous effects on the brain: carbamates (carbaryl), organochlorines (lindane and DDT), organophosphates (malathion), and pyrethroids (permethrin). Lindane and permethrin are available by prescription for the treatment of scabies. DEET is also commonly used to prevent mosquito and tick bites, and can be toxic if not used as directed or if ingested; hand–washing after application is essential.
It is estimated that 50 percent of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs in the first five years of life. Developing fetuses and children are at high risk of pesticide toxicity due to their rapid growth and sensitive organs. Some pesticides have the potential to disrupt hormones. In addition, young children are particularly vulnerable because they spend more time outdoors and often put their hands in their mouths. For some pesticides, breast milk may contain several times the concentrations found in maternal blood samples.
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