Children exposed in the womb to the widely used pesticide additive piperonyl butoxide (PBO) have heightened risk of noninfectious cough at ages 5 and 6, according to researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health and of Columbia University Medical Center.
The findings, which appear in the August 31 online edition of the journal Environment International, support the premise that the children’s respiratory system is susceptible to damage from toxic exposures during the prenatal period. A common symptom, childhood cough can disrupt normal daytime activities and interrupt sleep for both child and parent.
Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is an organic compound used to bolster the effects of pyrethroid pesticides. Pyrethroids are the most commonly used pesticides for both professional pest control and non-professional residential use, according to a 2011 study by Mailman School researchers. Exposure to one pyrethroid, a variation of permethrin, was