Research Links Pesticides With ADHD in Children

CHICAGO – A new analysis of U.S. health data links children’s attention-deficit disorder with exposure to common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables.

While the study couldn’t prove that pesticides used in agriculture contribute to childhood learning problems, experts said the research is persuasive.

“I would take it quite seriously,” said Virginia Rauh of Columbia University, who has studied prenatal exposure to pesticides and wasn’t involved in the new study.

More research will be needed to confirm the tie, she said.

Children may be especially prone to the health risks of pesticides because they’re still growing and they may consume more pesticide residue than adults relative to their body weight.

In the body, pesticides break down into compounds that can be measured in urine. Almost universally, the study found detectable levels: The compounds turned up in the urine of 94 percent of the children.

The kids with higher levels had increased chances of having ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a common problem that causes students to have trouble in school. The findings were published Monday in Pediatrics.

The children may have eaten food treated with pesticides, breathed it in the air or swallowed it in their drinking water. The study …

Read the entire Associated Press story here.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Margaret Vincent says:

    Stories such as these do such a disservice to the public. Study results were based on one urine sample and the study admits that any number of factors could be responsible for symptoms, with no clear cause for ADHD identified in the study. The study only speculated the source of the elevated pesticide levels (breathed in the air?) and there is no measure of what level of detection was used or how it related to ability to cause ill health. The final endorsement is from a representative of an advocacy group working to end the use of pesticides.

    Regardless of anybody's stand on pesticide use, this is storytelling disguised as journalism. Although flaws are evident in the introductory page, you must page go to the second page to really see the holes. Most wont do this and will take the study as proof positive for their beliefs despite the stark lack of any proof at all.

    I had thought the point of was to try to present a better form of "journalism" to Shasta County residents; a more honest version with integrity, but this makes me wonder.

  2. Avatar Virginia says:

    My husband would have been 83, if lived until today. He had ADD. Growing up, the family had a veggie & fruit gardens. No spraying. So, too often, one thoughts tends to become fact.