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The Heartland Study is a hospital-based research project designed to find out whether rising herbicide use is putting Midwestern moms and babies – and perhaps even future generations – at risk.

Our goal is to help make sure that profitable, sustainable farming can prosper, side by side, with raising healthy children, in the Midwest and throughout the US.  We are 100% privately funded, and you can help!

What We Are Doing

The Heartland Study has been carefully designed by our team of scientists to answer hard questions about how rising herbicide exposure may be impacting pregnancy, birth outcomes, and child development.

We will recruit and enroll at 2,000 mother-infant pairs living in the Midwest and measure herbicide levels in the bodies of moms and babies.  Then, we will track pregnancy outcomes and the health and development of Heartland Study babies for at least the first three years of life.

The Heartland Study will pioneer new methods of understanding the simultaneous impact of exposure to multiple herbicides, and be the first ever to track markers of heritable, epigenetic change from herbicide exposures in a human population.

Why Worry?


    • Herbicide use in the Midwest is rapidly rising and 2,4-D and dicamba — two older, high-risk herbicides — account for most of the increase

    • Prenatal herbicide exposures are linked to adverse reproductive and birth outcomes

    • Herbicides may be triggering heritable epigenetic changes that impair a child’s development or increase the risk of adult-onset disease



    • How have prenatal herbicide exposure levels changed over time?

    • Are herbicides contributing to heritable, epigenetic changes in newborns across the Midwest?

    • How can we determine which herbicides pose the greatest risks, and which are low-risk?

See more: Objectives and Study Design

Data Sings: Stories of Herbicide Use

See the full story here.

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