Risk of rare congenital disorder could be increased by a common herbicide (atrazine) according to the latest study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Researchers conducted this study at Baylor College of Medicine and found that atrazine (commonly used herbicide in corn crops) may increase the risk of choanal atresia (congenital abnormality).
Choanal atresia is considered as a rare disorder as it affects only 1 in 7000 infants. It causes the blockage of nasal passage due to formation of soft tissue or abnormal bony during fetal development. Such patients can suffer breathing problems and even breathing failure. It is usually treated by surgery to remove the obstruction.
Researchers evaluated the data of Texas Birth Defects Registry and found that those women who live at high risk area of atrazine were 80% more likely to have birth defects like choanal atresia or stenosis.
“If a county has a lot of acreage devoted to farming, and a lot of that acreage is corn crops, it is more likely to have higher atrazine application compared to a county with more urban areas and where corn isn’t grown,” Lupo said. “…But not all rural counties are characterized by high atrazine application rates.”
Different risk factors can contribute to choanal atresia but researchers suggested that disruption of women’s endocrine system by certain chemicals could play important role. Atrazine is considered as one of those chemicals.
“One exposure that tipped in the direction [of atrazine] was maternal use of thyroid medications during pregnancy – there’s a hypothesis that hormones, and in particular, thyroid dysfunction, are related to choanal atresia risk,” Dr. Philip Lupo, an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, told FoxNews.com. “We know through literature that atrazine is a suspected endocrine disruptor that alters endocrine activity and normal thyroid levels.”
The results of this study are significant but more independent studies are needed to determine possible link of atrazine and choanal atresia as said by choanal atresia.
Source: Fox News
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