Pesticides linked to ADHD

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's not the blueberries, celery, or strawberries, themselves, but rather the pesticides, or organophosphates, used to produce them.

Researchers found trace amounts of the pesticides in urine samples from more than a thousand kids, ages 8-15.  Of those children, 119 had symptoms of ADHD.  Kids with the higher concentration of pesticides were twice as likely to have ADHD.

But Wilson Renfroe, a Tyler psychologist, said the connections and causes of ADHD are not one in the same.

"Someone will take this and say, 'Well, definitely pesticides are the problem,' and we just can't jump there.  This study won't lend itself to that," he said.

Donna Mullinnix, a special needs educator with KidsSolutions said the findings should be taken seriously.  "I would just use it as a guideline," she said.

Mullinnix said does not believe the study points to a cause of ADHD, but the findings  do provide parents with an opportunity to protect their families.

She said some may want to switch to organic produce until further research is done.

Deborah Penrod said she has been buying organic foods for years now.  Her, now, 8-year-old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 6.

"Everything that I have read about ADHD, points to genetic factors and environmental factors," she explained.

Penrod said she doubts the cause, if any, will ever amount to one single factor.

But experts said the study, which will appear in the journal, Pediatrics, is helpful.

"The more info we have, the better we're armed to do something about this, long term," said Renfroe.

Organophosphates are approved by the EPA.  Trace amounts have also been found on green beans, peaches, and broccoli.  It is recommended you thoroughly wash your produce to limit exposure.

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