Ana L. Calderón-Garcidueñas, Neuropathology Department, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Mexico City, Mexico
Ma. del Carmen Martínez-Valenzuela, Environment and Health Research Unit, Universidad Autónoma de Occidente, Los Mochis, Sin., Mexico
Stefan M. Waliszewski-Kubiak, Institute of Forensic Medicine, Universidad Veracruzana, Xalapa, Ver., Mexico

Background: The period between conception and the first two postnatal years is critical and marks the individual, largely determining their health and disease patterns. Objective: To review the effect of pesticide exposure in utero and in the 1st years of life. Materials and methods: The scientific literature in relation to the subject was reviewed, both in animal models and in humans. Results: The presence of various types of pesticides in umbilical cord blood and in meconium is well documented in newborns worldwide, including Mexico. Pesticides have been associated with low birth weight, and various birth defects at the heart, gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary system, musculoskeletal system, and neurodevelopmental disorders. These substances may play a role in the increase in cases of autistic disorder. Conclusions: Despite the evidence, there are no public policies in many countries, including Mexico, to control the sale and use of pesticides. It is required to prevent exposure to these substances in the population and to do follow-up studies in mother-child pairs where exposure is suspected.

Keywords: Pesticides. Exposure. In utero. Postnatal. Toxicity.