Study Links Pesticides to ADHD; May be Linked to Hyperactivity and Cognitive Deficits in Animals

A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics substantiates what many holistic minded animal lovers already suspect:  pesticides pose a real and present danger to our children and our pets.  Meanwhile, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has a published its updated Dirty Dozen list of 12 fruits and vegetables highest in pesticide residue. Celery, peaches, strawberries, apples and blueberries ranked as the top five.

The study was conducted by scientists at Harvard University and the University of Montreal, measuring pesticide levels in the urine of 1,139 children in the United States. The researchers found that exposure to organophosphate pesticides “at levels common among U.S. children may contribute to ADHD prevalence,” the study authors reported. Organophosphate pesticides are used in agricultural and residential settings. Certain conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have tested positive for pesticide residue, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group.

The researchers couldn’t prove that pesticides cause ADHD.

“Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals,” said lead author Maryse F. Bouchard of the University of Montreal Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center in a release. “Our study found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to ADHD behaviors, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.”

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