A new study has found a link between attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and organophosphate pesticides commonly used in North America on non-organic fresh strawberries, frozen blueberries and celery published online in the journal Pediatrics on May 17.
Maryse F. Bouchard, PhD, a researcher in the Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine department at the University of Montreal in Quebec, led the study with a team of researchers from Harvard University. The study found a link between "urinary concentrations of dialkyl phosphate metabolites of organophosphates" and ADHD in 1139 children aged 8-15; 119 "children met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD". Those with an abnormal level of toxins of in their urine doubled their risk of being diagnosed with ADHD.
The National Academy of Sciences, renowned scientific and academic society studied the effects of diet and infant's and children's exposure to pesticides and published the 1993 results in Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Their site explains "the committee examined pesticide usage, residue sampling and testing methods, to identify the foods in the diets of infants and children with residues of pesticides that cause the greatest public-health concern and identify steps to improve risk assessment and establish priorities for those steps."
During a 2008 report "detectable concentrations of malathion were found in 28 percent of frozen blueberry samples, 25 percent of fresh strawberry samples and 19 percent of celery samples, " reported MSNBC, a news source. Malathion is an organophosphate pesticide.
The researchers concluded, "that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal."
Some of the symptoms and signs of ADHD (or organophosphate markers in urine) range from lack of focus to forgetfulness and restlessness - according to KidsHealth.org, a site to assist parents, children and teens on health and development issues.
Full study, "Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides": http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2009-3058v1