Being exposed to Fungicide when pregnant could leave your children, grand children and even great grandchildren with an increasing amount of anxiety, stress, autism and obesity.
The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences studies pregnant rats and found that the conditions mentioned above increased with exposure to fungicide during pregnancy.
According to lead author David Crews of the University of Texas:
“We are now in the third human generation since the start of the chemical revolution, since humans have been exposed to these kinds of toxins. There is no doubt that we have been seeing real increases in mental disorders like autism and bipolar disorder.”
To conduct their study researchers exposed pregnant rats to vinclozolin, a commonly used fungicide for fruits and vegetables which is known to disrupt hormones. Researchers used a “higher than expected” amount of the chemical when compared to what is found in the environment. Researchers were able to use a higher level of the substance because they were not attempting to determine the risk for humans but rather understand the phenomena caused by exposure.
After exposing up to three generations of male rates they found that third generation rats were more stressed in stressful situations of physical restraint during adolescence. The rats with a history of exposure to fungicide were also heavier and had higher testosterone levels.
According to a Google AFP wired:
“They were also more anxious, more sensitive to stress, and showed greater activity in stress-related regions of the brain than descendants of unexposed rats.”
In terms of examining the possibility of autism related risk the exposed rats showed less interesting in new individuals and environments.
Researchers believe that high levels of exposure ultimately changed the sperm and eggs genetic makeup which less to stress responses in future generations of rats.
While Vinclozolin began wide spread use in the 1980s to prevent crop rot it began to decline after researchers discovered its effects on male hormones and sexual development.