Every day it seems I hear of more kids having problems in school and not being able to focus. Often these kids are diagnosed with ADHD and are put on medications to control their behavior. A recent research project published in the journal Pediatrics (Pediatrics, May 2010; doi:10.1542/peds.2009-3058) suggests a link between ADHD and organophosphates in pesticides. A study of 1139 kids ages 8-15 was conducted. Children with higher urinary concentrations had twice the odds of ADHD compared with children with undetectable levels. The following link from the Illinois Department of Public Health gives an excellent definition of organophosphates.
Read more about this here: What are organophosphates?
In short, organophosphates are substances/toxins that interfere with an insect’s brain and nervous system. Unfortunately, if ingested, the same effects can happen to humans. The study is one of the first of its type so there is no definitive answer yet if exposure has a casual effect. Future studies need to be performed in order to establish a correlation however; this doesn’t mean that we can’t take precautions. Number one is to wash your fruit and vegetables well. Buying organic foods from the store or your local farmers market that are grown pesticide free is also a way to limit your exposure. A good diet is one of the keys to a healthy life!
Posted by: Dr. MacChesney