Paraquat found in newborns’ meconium

Every child has the right to a clean and safe environment, according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Recent research by a Mahidol University professor tested the meconium of newborn infants for paraquat. Paraquat was identified in the meconium of over half of the infants in the study (54.7%). This finding indicates prenatal exposure to the highly toxic chemical. These infants’ mothers may have been exposed through consumption of food and/or drinking water with paraquat residues, with the exposure reaching the developing foetus.

These alarming findings highlight the need for greater oversight of agro-chemicals, and specifically the necessity of banning paraquat based on its high risk to human health.