Alarming levels of pesticides found in Danish children and mothers

Researchers are concerned that the chemicals could cause brain damage

Scientists have sounded the alarm that high concentrations of pesticides are showing up in urine samples of Danish mothers and children.

Researchers suspect that the pesticides harm children’s brains.

“It is alarming that we have such a high concentration of pesticides in Denmark,” Philippe Grandjean, a professor of environmental medicine and head of research at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), told Altinget. “I fear that it will hurt the intelligence of the next generation.”

READ MORE: Alarming number of Danish farmers caught using illegal pesticides

Mothers and children affected
The alarming numbers were released on Wednesday as part of a study done by the environmental protection agency Miljøstyrelsen, SDU and the University of Copenhagen.

The researchers examined the amount of pesticide residue found in 144 Danish school children and 145 mothers. Specifically, they measured the concentration of pesticides used in agricultural production found in the urine samples from the children and their mothers.

“We have measured rather high concentrations in the Danish urine,” said associate professor of environmental medicine at SDU, Helle Raun Andersen, the co-author of the report.

“It is worrying because we suspect that these substances damage children’s brains.”

Imports the source
The EU sets limits on the amount of pesticide residue allowed in food, and Andersen believes that those limits should be reduced.

Since most of the pesticides found in the tests are illegal in Denmark, researchers assumed that the high levels must be attributed to imported fruit and vegetables.