Children exposed to pesticides known as organophosphates
could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study.
Researchers tracked the pesticides' breakdown products in kids' urine and found those with high levels were almost twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels.
The findings are based on data from the general U.S. population, meaning that exposure to the pesticides could be harmful even at levels commonly found in children's environment.
Although the researchers had no way to determine the source of the breakdown products they found, Weisskopf said the most likely culprits were pesticides and insecticides used on produce and indoors.
More studies are needed, especially following exposure levels over time, before contemplating a ban on the pesticides. Still, he urged parents to be aware of what insecticides they were using around the house and to wash produce.