Mosquito Spraying Linked to Neuro Problems in Babies
A study in Environmental International links prenatal exposure to a chemical used in mosquito spraying—naled—to neurological problems in infants. This chemical has been used to control mosquitoes for many years and was recently used in Miami, Florida, to stop the spread of Zika virus.
Researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that, at nine months of age, children in China--the world's largest user of pesticides—with the highest exposure to the chemical had three to four percent lower scores on fine motor skill tests than children with the lowest exposure to naled. Fine motor skill tests measure small movements of the fingers, hands, face, and feet.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, naled does not pose a health risk to people or pets when sprayed in low concentrations. In the United States, mosquito spraying using naled involves very fine droplets that remain airborne for an extended period and break down when exposed to sunlight or water.