For years environmentalists and natural health advocates have been trying to point out that organophosphate pesticides (malathion, etc.) work by disrupting the neurological systems of insects, and therefore humans who consume it on foods are at risk of neurological problems. Now, after millions of kids have been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder), it is finally being admitted.
In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Montreal and Harvard University found evidence strongly indicating that pesticides could be a major cause of the alarming rise in ADHD in our children. Children who had high than average biomarkers for organophosphate pesticides were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. Previous studies found that pesticides may contribute to hyperactivity and cognitive problems in animals, but the new study is among the first to determine that it affects humans, too.
Among the study’s findings:
- Children who have high levels of pesticide residues are 93% more likely to have ADHD.
- For every 55% increase in residue in urine, there is a 10% greater risk of ADHD.
“I think it’s fairly significant. A doubling is a strong effect,” said Maryse F. Bouchard, a researcher at the University of Montreal in Quebec and lead author of the study.
The study is the largest thus far to examine the effect of pesticides on child development and behavior, including ADHD. ADHD affects an estimated 4.5 million U.S. children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.5 million kids take medication for the condition.
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