05/17/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
New York, NY – A recently released study published in the Journal of Pediatrics stated that one type of pesticide commonly used in the growing of fruits and vegetables may contribute to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, as reported by ABC News.
The study researchers took urine samples from over 1,000 children participants and analyzed it for pesticides. The participants were ages eight to 15. The researchers found that those with the highest concentrations of pesticides had higher chances of displaying symptoms of ADHD.
Chairman of the Department of Community and Preventative Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, Dr. Philip Landrigan, said, “It’s consistent with other studies that have looked at organophosphate pesticides and have found that exposure of children to organophosphates in early life can cause brain injury.”
While some doctors find the study to be helpful, all say additional research is required in order to form a direct connection between pesticides and ADHD.
The researchers stand by their work, though, and claim that even minute amounts of pesticides may affect brain chemistry in children. They state the chemicals found in organophosphate pesticides have harmful effects on development, including the ability to think and communicate.
Langridan agrees with the study’s findings, labeling it as a “snapshot of one point on time of the association between pesticides and ADHD.” He also explains the need for further study as well though, proposing a plan to follow children for several years in order to find direct links between the chemicals and symptoms of ADHD.
Experts still warn that any number of other factors could contribute to the disorder.
CropLife America, a national association that represents pesticide manufacturers, issued a statement in response to the study, telling ABC News that the organization “fully supports continuous study to help better understand the cause.”
The statement goes on to state, “All crop protection products are extensively reviewed by regulatory agencies before approval for market use. Many scientific factors are examined by government pesticide regulators, based on extensive laboratory testing, all of which are intended to guarantee safety for the environment and people, including children.”
While the study findings are new, and more studies are sure to follow; parents who want to limit their children’s exposure to pesticides are recommended to limit pesticides within the home, buy organic and buy fruits with skin that peels off, such as apples or bananas.
Experts say the fruits that tend to contain the highest levels of pesticides are strawberries, raspberries and peaches.