In September 2012, the Journal of Pediatrics published a study assessing the relationship between exposure to atrazine and the rates of choanal atresia or stenosis. Research suggests that atrazine is related to choanal atresia and stenosis, a birth defect that impairs an infant’s ability to breathe. Parker Waichman LLP is investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of pregnant women who have been exposed to atrazine, a popular herbicide most commonly used in corn crops.
Study: Atrazine Linked to Choanal Atresia and Stenosis
Choanal atresia is when the back of nasal passage is blocked with tissue; stenosis is a less severe version of the condition. The study, which was conducted by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine, gathered data from the Texas Birth Defects Registry between 1999 and 2008. Information about estimated atrazine levels in different Texas counties was obtained using the US Geological Survey.
The study showed that mothers who lived in counties with the highest levels of estimated atrazine were at an increased risk for delivering a child with choanal atresia or stenosis. According to the researchers, the risk for giving birth to a child with this nasal birth complication was nearly twice as high (an increased risk of 80 percent) compared with those who lived in counties with low levels of atrazine.
Atrazine May Disrupt Endocrine System
Researchers suspect that atrazine’s association with choanal atresia may be due to its role in the body’s endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone secretion. Atrazine is thought to be an endocrine disrupter. According to Dr. Philip Lupo, assistant professor in the pediatrics department at the Baylor College of Medicine and co-author of the study, “We know through literature that atrazine is a suspected endocrine disruptor that alters endocrine activity and normal thyroid levels.” Dr. Lupo says that “Endocrine disrupters aren’t fully understood, but it is believed they interfere with or mimic certain hormones, thereby blocking their proper function and potentially leading to adverse outcomes.”