Home insecticides may double risk for acute childhood leukemia

French medical researchers have discovered yet another reason to practice nontoxic pest control around the home: It may reduce your kids’ risk of acute leukemia. The team’s study, published today in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that children in homes where mothers reported using insecticides while pregnant and after birth face a two-fold increase in risk for the fatal blood disease. The study particularly targets compounds — like plant sprays, mosquito repellants, and lice-killing shampoos — that contain a group of pesticides called carbamates. The link between pesticides and leukemia is still being hotly debated, but the doctors say their finding should encourage folks to take action now.