Report outlines health effects of pesticide exposure in children


Mark Quee (right) presents during the panel discussion of the "Kids on the Frontlne" report at the Iowa City Public Library on May 10, 2016. Quee is the farm manager at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch. (Nick Fetty/CGRER)
Mark Quee (right) presents during the panel discussion of the Kids on the Frontline report at the Iowa City Public Library on May 10, 2016. Quee is the farm manager at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch. (Nick Fetty/CGRER)
Nick Fetty | May 11, 2016

A report released Tuesday by the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PAN) outlines the health effects that pesticide exposure has on children, particularly those living in rural areas.

The report – Kids on the Frontline – assesses dozens of independent studies by agriculturists, chemists, and other scientific experts. While the report focuses on issues nationwide, it finds that children who attend schools located near agricultural fields are more likely to be exposed to pesticides linked to various cancers as well as brain development. The report finds that rates of childhood leukemia and brain tumors nationwide have risen more than 40 percent over the last half century while childhood cancer rates in Iowa increased steadily between 1975 and 2012.

Carmen Black, Iowa Organizer for PAN, hosted a panel discussion at the Iowa City Public Library to discuss ways that children in the Hawkeye State are affected by pesticides. The panel consisted of Black; Mark Quee, Farm Manager at Scattergood Friends School; Michelle Kenyon,Program Director at the Iowa City-based Field to Family; and Kent Boyum, Board Member of the Iowa Organic Association.

Various Iowa groups have come together to educate the public about the dangers of pesticide drift and to push for legislation to prevent it. Several other Iowa City and state groups have worked to address pesticide issues at the local level.

Kids on the Frontline is a follow-up to the 2012 report A Generation in Jeopardy.

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