A recent new study in Pediatrics journal links exposure to pesticides with cases of ADHD in the US and Canada. Researchers from the University of Montreal and Harvard University examined the potential link between a certain pesticide, organophosphates, and ADHD. The researchers analyzed the level of pesticide residue of more than 1100 children from the ages of 8 to 15 and overall found a 35% increase in the odds of developing ADHD with every tenfold increase in concentration of pesticide residue, reports Time.
The article continues to say, “organophosphates are known to cause damage to the nerve connections in the brain — that's how they kill agricultural pests, after all. The chemical works by disrupting a specific neurotransmitter, acetylcholinesterase, a defect that has been implicated in children diagnosed with ADHD. In animal models, exposure to the pesticides has resulted in hyperactivity and cognitive deficits as well.”
If possible, worried parents should try and feed their children organic produce, as well as avoid using bug spray at home. If the produce is not organic, parents should carefully wash and scrub to reduce the amount of residue from pesticides.