Three distinct studies tracking the lives of expectant mothers and their children for close to a decade has shown the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to pesticides which could result in lower IQ levels in children.
The effect of commonly used pesticides on fruit and vegetable crops such as organophosphates was evaluated during this study.
Researchers found that exposure to organophosphates had a negative effect on reasoning and non-verbal solving abilities of children.
Prenatal exposure to the banned pesticide, chlorpyrifos, earlier used to kill cockroaches and termites was connected to lower intelligence and poor memory.
"These observed deficits in cognitive functioning at seven years of age could have implications for school performance," said lead author Virginia Rauh of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health.