WFYI Indianapolis

How'd that work: Do pesticides cause birth defects?

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Air date: May 12, 2013

Hosts: Barbara Lewis, David Crabb, MD

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Interview: Paul Winchester, M.D., director of the neonatal intensive care unit, St. Francis Hospital, clinical professor of pediatrics/neonatology, Indiana University School of Medicine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a policy statement that outlines the harmful effects of pesticides on early fetal development. In 2009, Paul Winchester, M.D., released a study that looked at 30 million Indiana births from 1996 to 2002. According to Dr. Winchester, babies conceived in April, May and June have higher rates of birth defects such as Down syndrome, cleft palate and spina bifida. Most birth defects, such as spina bifida, happen early in the pregnancy. Although many pesticides are dangerous and can cause serious birth defects, Dr. Winchester cautions that not all are harmful.

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