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Pesticides and Child’s Health in France


Purpose of Review

The use of pesticides is predominant in agriculture, inducing environmental contamination, and has been extended to the domestic sphere. In France, > 500 pesticides were authorized for use in 2009; given their various toxicological properties, there are legitimate concerns about the possible consequences for child health. This review summarizes the recent French studies of good quality dealing with pesticides and child health.

Recent Findings

Three cohorts (mother–child, retrospective) and two case–control studies have been conducted in the last decade. Using various instruments for exposure assessment including biomarkers, they have suggested alterations of subclinical health parameters at birth, increased risk of otitis at age 2, and increased risk of several types of childhood cancer. However, there were no adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at 6 years of age following prenatal exposure to pesticides.


Both agricultural and domestic pesticides might be involved in such adverse health outcomes. Similar studies are lacking in Europe. Studies on fungicides and child health are scarce.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Cécile Chevrier.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Early Life Environmental Health

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Chevrier, C., Béranger, R. Pesticides and Child’s Health in France. Curr Envir Health Rpt 5, 522–530 (2018).

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  • Pesticides
  • Environmental exposure
  • Pregnancy
  • Growth
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Cancer