A new analysis of U.S. health data has linked attention-deficit disorder in children with exposure to common pesticides that are used on fruits and vegetables.
Even though the study did not prove that pesticides used in agriculture inhibit childhood learning problems, experts are saying that the research is pretty compelling.
Virginia Rauh, of Columbia University, said this new research should be taken very seriously. She has studied prenatal exposure to pesticides but wasn’t involved in this particular study.
Because they are still developing and may eat more pesticide residue than adults in relation to their body weight, children are especially prone to the health risks of pesticides. Pesticides break down in the body into compounds that can be measured in urine. The study found detectible levels almost universally. The compounds were revealed in the urine of 94 percent of the children.
The kids who had elevated levels, had increased chances of having ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is a common problem that creates learning problems for students in school. The findings were published on May 17 in Pediatrics.
The precise cause for the children’s reported ADHD are not clear right now. Many factors might have caused the symptoms and the link to the pesticides could be by chance.
The children in the study could have eaten food treated with pesticides, breathed it in the air or swallowed it in their drinking water. The study did not designate exactly how they were exposed. Experts believe it is probable that the children who don’t live near farms are exposed by what they are using.