Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > New Study Finds ADHD Linked to Pesticide Exposure
|

New Study Finds ADHD Linked to Pesticide Exposure

A new study has revealed that children exposed to higher amounts of a common pesticide found on commercially-grown produce are more likely to have ADHD than those exposed to lesser amounts.

Effects of Exposure
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, measured the pesticide byproducts in the urine of more than 1,000 children and found those who had above-average levels of one common pesticide were almost two times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

The study found 94 percent of children had detectable levels of pesticides in their urine. The higher the concentration of pesticides, the higher the odds were of being diagnosed with ADHD.

Although pesticide exposure has been linked to behavioral problems in the past, most studies have focused on farming communities and populations exposed to high amounts of pesticides. This is the first study to focus on the effects normal amounts of pesticides have on the general population.

According to the Pediatrics study, pesticides act on a set of brain chemicals closely related to those involved in ADHD behaviors. The Environmental Protection Agency has eliminated residential uses of pesticides, such as for lawn care and termite extermination, but people are still exposed through food, mainly commercially-grown fruits and vegetables. Children are more vulnerable to pesticide exposure because their brains are still developing.

Reducing Exposure
Although more studies are needed to determine the long-term effects of chronic pesticide exposure, there are ways to reduce the amount of residue your child is exposed to. Your children shouldn't stop eating fruits and vegetables, but be aware of the Dirty Dozen - the top 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticides, and try to purchase organic versions of these items. Print this grocery list to help you remember which produce to buy organic, and which items are generally safe.

If buying organic isn't possible, remember to wash, trim, and peel your fruits and vegetables before eating them. Print this list of tips for washing and preparing your produce safely.

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

12 Pumpkin Activities and Crafts for Kids
Pumpkins and gourds are perfect for fall fun and games with the kids. Find the best pumpkin activities, crafts, printables, and recipes to enjoy with your children this Halloween season.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

15 Best Slow Cooker Meals
Too busy to cook? Try one of these deliciously easy slow cooker meals and have dinner waiting when you get home!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!