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The Link Between Pesticides and ADHD

An article in Time magazine this week brings up a study that has shown a link between pesticides and ADHD. Rates of ADHD have been increasing in recent years, making finding possible causes all the more interesting.

The study itself was published in Pediatrics, and analyzed pesticide residue in the urine of children between the ages of 8 and 15. The highest levels of dialkyl phosphates correlated to a 35% increase in the chance of the child having been diagnosed with ADHD. Dailkyl phosphates are the result of organophosphate pesticides breaking down. Even at low levels, the odds of an ADHD diagnosis were increased.

It’s worth noting that this does not mean pesticides cause ADHD. Correlation does not imply causation, as the saying goes. But this makes the topic worth looking into further.

As a parent, this should be motivation to not use pesticides on your property, and to buy organic produce when possible. One possible source for children to ingest pesticide residue is through fresh fruit and vegetables. You can scrub your produce to remove what you can, but organic or home grown produce that you’ve never sprayed with pesticides is the safest option.

It’s not too late to get a garden going! You may have to start with plants rather than seeds, but do what you can. Tomatoes are pretty easy to grow for many people. Consider planting a fruit tree so that you have a long term source of pesticide free fruits. Join a co-op.

There are plenty of ways to avoid pesticides in your food. You may not be able to get it perfect, but with yet another reason to try, why not get going?

2 replies on “The Link Between Pesticides and ADHD”

  1. Thanks for posting on this study and perhaps even more importantly, giving people tips for WHAT they can do.

  2. Stephanie says:

    Glad to do it. Nothing we can do to completely control whether or not a child gets ADHD, but there’s so often something to be done to decrease the chances.

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