Babies exposed to high levels of common pesticides in the womb have lower I.Q. scores than their peers by the time they reach school age, according to three new studies.

The studies were financed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Research in the 1980s linked childhood lead exposure to lower intelligence, dyslexia, higher risk for dropping out of school and a range of behavioral and developmental problems. As a result of that research, lead was removed from gasoline to prevent exposure from car exhaust, and it was also removed from paints and other consumer products.

“When we took lead out of gasoline, we reduced lead poisoning by 90 percent, and we raised the I.Q. of a whole generation of children by four or five points.’’ 

 (via the NYTimes)

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