Could pesticides double the risk of ADHD in children? According to a recent study, there is a strong possibility that they can.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mentions that 4.5 million children in the United States, between the ages of 5 and 17, have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. These rates have been rising 3% a year.
A study appearing in the 2010 Journal Pediatrics, found that low-level common pesticides doubles children's risk of ADHD.
Researchers took urine samples from 1,139 children ages 8 to 15 from around the United States and tested them for signs of exposure to various organophosphate pesticides widely used on commercially grown fruits and vegetables. The results stated that 94% of those children showed evidence of the compounds.
Organophosphates are known to be toxic to the nervous system, and pesticides are designed to kill pests. According to a 2008 report from the US Department of Agriculture, most children across the United States eat non-organic fruits and vegetables that have detectable levels of pesticides. Exposure to pesticides have been linked to learning and behavioral problems in children in the past.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), says that people should buy organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Some examples of fruits and vegetables that are low in pesticide residues are onions, avacados, pineapples, watermelon, cabbage, eggplant, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, and honeydew melon. Washing and peeling these fruits and vegetables will reduce pesticide exposure further.
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