Mom’s Exposure to Pesticide Raises Risk of Infant Leukemia

A mother’s exposure to pesticides during pregnancy may be linked to rare types of leukemias that are diagnosed in children younger than two, according to a study from Brazil. The children whose mothers were exposed at home or at work were two to seven times more likely to have one of the two cancers studied than those whose mothers reported no pesticide exposure. Infants younger than eleven months old were up to seven times more likely to have leukemia if their mothers used the insecticide permethrin. The results suggest that women of reproductive age should minimize their pesticide exposure before and during pregnancy and while nursing.