Attention Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderADHD is increasingly common. Children are more hyperactive, impulsive and have shorter attention spans. And while some are quick to point to our fast-paced lifestyle or doctors simply diagnosing the problem too easily, your Health Avenger has found another cause entirely – pesticides.
More specifically, scientists from the Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati have discovered that exposure to pyrethroid pesticides, commonly used to control pests. can triple a boys’ risk of developing ADHD. Girls were similarly affected, though to a lesser extent.
As the Daily Mail article explains:
“Symptoms of the condition, notably hyperactivity and impulsivity, were found to be associated with exposure to pyrethroid pesticides, the US researchers found. The ingredient is found in many common insecticides and some insect repellents.
Paediatrician Tanya Froehlich, the study’s author, said: ‘Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance. “
In the US officials banned the two most commonly used organophosphate pesticides – containing organic compounds with phosphorus – from residential use in 2000, after concerns were raised over adverse health consequences.
The ban led to the increased use of pyrethroid pesticides, which are now the most commonly used pesticides for residential pest control and public health purposes in the US.
They are also increasingly used in agriculture.Pyrethroids have often been considered a safer choice because they are not as acutely toxic as the banned organophosphates.
Dopamine is a neurochemical in the brain thought to be involved in many activities, including those that govern ADHD.
Researchers studied data from 687 children between the ages of eight and 15, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2000 to 2001.
Pesticide exposure measurements were collected in a random sample of the urine of half the eight to 11-year-olds, and a third of the 12 to 15-year-olds.
Boys with a detectable measure, known as 3-PBA, of pyrethroids in their urine, were three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, compared with those who had no detectable trace of the pesticide.
Hyperactivity and impulsivity increased by 50 per cent for every 10-fold increase in 3-PBA levels in boys.”
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