Decades-banned pesticides apparently continue to interfere with fetal growth during U.S. pregnancies, a new study reports.
DDT was banned in 1972 in the United States, but low levels of it and other organic chemical pollutants can still be found in the blood of pregnant American women, researchers reported online Dec. 30 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Women carrying even low levels of these pollutants had slightly smaller fetuses than women whose exposure to the chemicals was less, results showed.
The most consistent effects seemed to come from DDT and related pesticides, said study co-author Pauline Mendola, an investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
"Bones seem to be more affected," she said. "Head circumference and femur length were more often impacted than other growth measures."