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The Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Asks The County Council to Override the Vet

The following was sent to the members of The Hawaii County Council:

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is strongly in favor of the county of Hawaii’s Bill 101.

In 2012, the National AAP essentially changed the way pediatricians around the world have viewed the danger of pesticides. All pediatricians have been trained in recognizing and treating actual poisoning by pesticides caused by ingesting or being inadvertently sprayed. In 2012, the AAP produced a technical report and a policy statement warning physicians about the danger of even low-level exposure to pesticides. The documents pointed out that pesticides are inherently toxic, designed to kill or injure living organisms, and that children are particularly vulnerable to pesticides starting from their time in the womb, through infancy and into childhood. In the womb the rapidly developing brain may be altered for life by the exposure to pesticides and recent studies have shown increases in neurobehavioral disorders such as ADHD in the children of mothers who have been exposed to spraying during pregnancy.

Children are also particularly vulnerable to spraying in parks, gardens and homes, due to their smaller bodies, rapidly growing organ systems and the fact that they may get pesticides on their hands and clothing, put their hands in their mouths, and track the pesticides into the house.

Recent evidence has also been accumulating that the commonly used herbicide, Roundup, is much more toxic than initially thought. It has been shown to have antibiotic properties, even at very low doses, potentially altering the healthy bacteria in and on living organisms. The evidence that it causes cancer also keeps growing. The most recent study from the University of Washington demonstrates a 41% increase in the cancer incidence in those with greater exposure to the chemical. In this particular study the researchers also presented evidence that herbicides containing glyphosate, such as Roundup, cause inflammation, endocrine disruption, oxidative stress, and damage to DNA. This study powerfully highlights the danger to those who spray it and to those playing or walking in areas that have been sprayed.

The Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics applauds the county council for passing Bill 101 the first time and hopes that enough votes will be generated to override the mayor’s veto. Our children should not be playing in parks that have been sprayed with pesticides.

Signed by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

1. Roberts J, Karr C, et al. American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Environmental health. Policy Statement - Pesticide Exposure in Children. Pediatrics. 2012;e1757

2.Marks AR, Harley K, Bradman A, Kogut K, Barr DB, Johnson C, et al. 2010. Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Attention in Young Mexican-American Children: The CHAMACOS Study. Environ Health Perspect 118:1768-1774.

3. Aitbali Y, Ba-M'hamed S, Elhidar N, et al. glyphosate-based herbicide exposure affects gut microbiota, anxiety and depression-like behaviors in mice.


4. Zhang L, Rana I, Shaffer RM, Taioli E, Sheppard L. Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence. Mutation Research Reviews in Mutation Research, 2019

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