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March 2016

Are Pesticides, Not Zika to Blame for Birth Defects?

English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure.English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Brazil’s southernmost state has banned the use of a mosquito larvicide that an Argentine doctors' group says is to blame for the recent rash of microcephaly cases, rather than Zika virus. 

The ban was imposed despite federal health officials in the U.S. and Brazil insisting there's no scientific basis linking pyriproxyfen and the birth defect, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Health officials in Rio Grande do Sul suspended the use of the larvicide Pyriproxyfen to destroy mosquito eggs and larvae in the state’s drinking water supplies over the weekend.
The decision came after the Argentine group Red Universitária de Ambiente y Salud (University Network of Environment and Health), released a report linking the pesticide to spike in Brazil in recent months of suspected cases of microcephaly, in which infants are born with shrunken heads and underdeveloped brains. 

Read more:  Are Pesticides to Blame for Zika-Linked Birth Defects?