Perspective – Recent Claims About Links Between Chlorpyrifos and Brain Anomalies
Dow AgroSciences is evaluating closely a recent publication by Columbia University researchers claiming to have noted links between prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure and subtle changes in brain development (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published ahead of print, April 30, 2012). The study focuses on differences in MRI scans between two groups of 20 children that the study authors believe had “high” vs. “low” prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure.
This study plows new ground but is difficult to interpret. The children are a subset of a larger study group that has generated many publications reporting a complex set of statistical connections between a number of different endpoints (behavior, IQ, brain morphometry, etc.) and estimated environmental exposures to various chemicals. The overall study design is unclear. Further, statistical outcomes may be due to chance and cannot be used to demonstrate causation.
Dow AgroSciences perspectives on findings from this recent publication as well as claims from past publications from the Columbia University researchers may be found at the following links:
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