Could Pesticides Give Your Child’s Focus Fits?


A pregnant mother’s exposure to harmful pesticides could be more harmful to her child than the child’s exposure to them once he or she is out in the world, indicates a new study.

The research was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives and realized that an expectant mother’s exposure to a certain group of pesticides often used in food production can raise her child’s risk for developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) later in life. This study follows another similar one linking pesticide levels often found in food to ADHD in kids.

Researchers examined pregnant women from the Salinas Valley in California during their study, an area of the nation consisting of heavy agriculture that include half a million pounds of pesticides used each year. The researchers examined the women’s urine during pregnancy to find out pesticide breakdown components, before monitoring children’s pesticide levels and screening the kids for ADHD at ages three and five. They also spoke with mothers to discover if they’d noticed ADHD symptoms in their children.

Scientists were especially looking for organophosphate pesticide exposure, which often disrupt the nervous system of bugs by messing with their neurotransmitters. The pesticides affected neurotransmitters that are crucial for brain development, attention, and memory.

It appeared that when the amount of organophosphate breakdown materials floating in the urine of pregnant women rose, the chance that their child would eventually have ADHD did, too. Shockingly, there was a 500 percent rise in attention difficulties in the five-year-old children of the women who had had the greatest pesticide amounts during pregnancy. Greater amounts of urinary pesticides in five-year-olds were also linked with a 30 percent greater risk for ADHD, implying that prenatal exposure could be worse for the child than childhood exposure when it comes to their attention levels.

Furthermore, researchers found that the appearance of ADHD was more prevalent when children were five years old compared to years before that age, and was also seen more often in boys than girls.




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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Luis Roberto Lainez

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