ABSTRACT

Faced with an ever-increasing exposure to toxic substances, particularly pesticides, children globally are experiencing an epidemic of chronic disease “where sick is the new normal.” This chapter examines types of pesticides and their mixtures, with a focus on their usage from both public health and agricultural perspectives. An understanding of how children are different from adults in terms of assessing toxicity is presented. Concepts regarding dosages, health ramifications of a high toxicant load, and the links to neurodevelopment disorders are analyzed. Mechanisms of how pesticides are linked to autism spectrum disorder, presently being recognized and increasing in some African countries, as well as spirally upward globally, for example, are referenced. Comparative analyses are provided between African and American children in terms of pesticide exposures and neurologic health. This chapter concludes with the identification of African organizations that are calling for an agroecologic system diverting from unsustainable chemical farming based on the creation of networks within their own countries and international partners.