Are Pesticides a Precursor to ADHD?

by on June 1st, 2010 at 7:00 am

New cautions on produce & other commercially grown food

While a direct causal link is still yet to be established, a recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics showed that exposure to pesticides suggests a strong relationship to the development of ADHD.

According to the study of over 1,000 children nationwide, children with higher levels of a byproduct from organophosphate pesticides had twice the odds of ADHD diagnosis. The author’s of the study hope this statistic will raise awareness regarding the risk of consuming commercially grown fruits and vegetables, particularly in children, who are more susceptible to exposure effects.

What’s the Danger?

These widely used pesticides contain compounds which have been tied to behavioral problems among previous studies of high-risk populations such as farm workers, from impulsivity to attention deficiency. This new investigation on the broader population and notably children, further highlights that even low concentrations may result in negative side effects, though the link is not fully understood.

Research cited that there are about 40 different organophosphate pesticides registered and used in the United States. While intended to kill pests, they are suggested to be toxic to the human nervous system.

High-Risk Foods

A 2008 report from the U.S. Dept of Agriculture noted in a sample study that 28% of frozen blueberries, 20% of celery, 25% of strawberries, 27% of green beans, 8% of broccoli and 17% of peaches contained traces of organophosphates.

What Can Help

  • Buy organic whenever possible
  • Buy from farmer’s markets- national surveys have shown produce to contain less pesticides, even when not organic
  • Wash and peel fruits and vegetables
  • When buying non-organic produce, choose foods with thick skins like bananas and oranges- which make it harder for pesticides to seep into fruit

Research shows that both ADD and ADHD are considered the same condition. Although the term ADD is still used by the public to identify a subset of ADHD, ADHD is the proper medical terminology for people with attention disorders whether they display signs of hyperactivity or not. In our posts when we use the term ADHD, we are also referring to ADD and vice versa.

BrightSparkis a homeopathic remedy that relieves hyperactivity, distractibility and impulsiveness in children with attention problems.

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