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Pesticides Linked to ADHD

Strawberries With a Side of ADHD?

Not too sure that organic produce is worth the extra dough? This may change your mind. It looks like scientists in the US and Canada may have found a connection between pesticide exposure and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Researchers tested 1,000 kids, ages eight to 15, and analyzed their urine for traces of pesticides. They found that 119 of the participants had signs of ADHD. And get this — the children with the highest concentrations of pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with this condition as compared to the kids who had only traces of the chemical in their urine. That's a huge difference. The pesticides detected were ones commonly used in conventional produce such as frozen blueberries, strawberries, and celery.

ADHD affects about 4.5 million children in the US, and 2.5 million take medication to treat their condition. That means the findings of this study aren't something that should be ignored, as the connection between pesticides and ADHD is pretty strong. Certain pesticides will leave the body after about a week, but this study shows that some degree of pesticide residue will remain in the body, making exposure to these chemicals ongoing. Kids are especially at a greater risk since their young bodies are still developing.

Scientists aren't saying that eating conventional produce that's treated with pesticides will automatically lead to the development of ADHD, because many other factors may be involved, but this study may offer yet another reason to choose organic foods whenever possible.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
I know that pesticides are strongly regulated in America but I wonder about how much is brought in from out of the USA. How much of this is residue from what we already regulate here?
arcticpuppet arcticpuppet 7 years
it is an interesting new find, but i think i'll wait til more research is done before i completely buy this.
aburlock aburlock 7 years
Right. Because this study doesn't imply causation, just correlation. We don't know the temporality here. Did pesticides cause ADHD or did ADHD causes more pesticides in urine? The original article even states this in the abstract.
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