Subscribe (free)
About NaturalNews
Contact Us
Write for NaturalNews
Media Info
Advertising Info

Pesticide exposure causes attention problems in children

Monday, November 22, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: pesticides, attention deficit disorder, health news

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
(NaturalNews) Children who are exposed to organophosphate pesticides in utero are significantly more likely to develop attention problems later in life, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California-Berkeley and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The researchers tested the urine of pregnant Mexican-American women living in California's Salinas Valley, a major agricultural region, for pesticide metabolites. Their children were then followed for five years, being regularly tested for pesticide metabolites and attention disorders. Attention was evaluated through parental questionnaires and standardized tests.

The researchers found that while only a weak connection between attention problems and prenatal pesticide exposure was observed by age three, by age five a significant correlation was observed.

A tenfold higher concentration of organophosphate metabolites in a mother's urine corresponded to a 500 percent increase in her child's risk of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A higher concentration of metabolites in a child's urine was also correlated with an increased risk of diagnosis, though not as strongly.

A previous study found that children with high levels of organophosphate metabolites in their urine were nearly 100 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as children with no detectable metabolites. Organophosphates and other pesticides have also been linked to other nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson's disease.

"There has been a linkage between early pesticide exposure and a later loss of dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra, a pathology associated with Parkinson's disease," write Peter J. Whitehouse and Daniel George in their book The Myth of Alzheimer's.

A connection between pesticide exposure and nerve-related disorders is not surprising, since many pesticides -- including organophosphates -- are designed to disrupt insect nervous systems. One of the neurotransmitters that they target, acetylcholine, is also found in the human brain.

Approximately 40 different organophosphate pesticides are currently approved for use in the United States.

Sources for this story include:
STAY INFORMED! Free subscription to the Health Ranger's email newsletter
Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.