Study Finds High Levels of Pesticides in U.S. Bodies

A large percentage of U.S. residents have unsafe levels of pesticides in their bodies, and children, women, and Mexican-Americans are particularly at risk, says a new study. The Pesticide Action Network analyzed data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the levels of pesticides in more than 2,600 people. According to PAN, the average person in the study carried 13 of the 23 chemicals they focused on. The pesticides studied have been shown to lead to a variety of health problems, including infertility, birth defects, and cancer. A U.S. EPA spokesperson conceded that the study has “some validity,” but questioned whether it reflected current or past exposure, and called for more screening. The study’s lead author, Kristin Schafer, was not as circumspect: She said the data showed “a failure of our approach to how we protect people from toxic pesticides” and said there is “a case to be made that the primary responsibility for these pesticides in our bodies lies with the folks that manufacture and market them.”