Can pesticides increase children’s risk for ADHD?
A study published in the June 6, 2010 Pediatrics journal adds to a growing body of scientific literature that points to possible developmental problems in children associated with exposure to organophosphate pesticides. These insecticides kill insects by attacking their brains and nervous systems. The Pediatrics study found that there was a strong correlation between evidence of pesticide exposure (as measured by pesticide byproducts called metabolites) found in the urine of children and the occurrence of ADHD. In fact, researchers found that a tenfold increase in metabolites was associated with a 55 percent to 72 percent increase in the likelihood of ADHD.
September/October 2010 – Volume 6 – Issue 5 – p 38
DEPARTMENTS: Your Questions Answered: ADHD
Dr. Mitchell L. Goldstein, M.D., specialist in child neurology and practices with Western Neurological Associates in Salt Lake City, UT, suggests that the simplest way to reduce pesticide exposure is to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables, or if possible opt to purchase fruits and vegetables that are grown without exposure to organophosphate pesticides. However, he warns, children will still invariably have some exposure to pesticides in drinking water and the environment through breakdown of chemicals used in both residential and industrial settings.