Pesticides used in industrial farming, lawns, and other urban greenery have been linked to all sorts of child development health issues, and now a study is suggesting one more. A study released in the May issue of Pediatrics Journal argues that there’s a connection between high exposure to common pesticides and increased risk for children developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Maryse Bouchard and colleagues looked at more than 1,100 children aged between 8 and 15. All of them had been sampled by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2000 and 2004, and 119 had been diagnosed with ADHD. Bouchard’s team studied their urine samples for chemicals called dialkyl phosphates, which result from the breakdown of organophosphate pesticides used to protect fruits and vegetables.
For a 10-fold increase in one class of those compounds, the odds of ADHD increased by more than half. And for the most common breakdown product, called dimethyl triophosphate, the odds of ADHD almost doubled in kids with above-average levels compared to those without detectable levels [Reuters].