Pages Navigation Menu

Organophosphate Insecticides and ADHD

Organophosphate Insecticides – Linked to Increased Risk of ADHD

Researchers at the University of Montreal and Harvard University have concluded that ‘dietary’ exposure to organophosphate (OP) insecticides substantially increases the risk of children getting attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

They measured the levels of the main OP metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children ages 8 to 15.  For each 10-fold increase in OP metabolite levels, the risk of ADHD increased an astonishing 55% to 72%.  The effect was even seen at low exposure levels.

The scientists concluded that “The present study adds to the accumulating evidence linking higher levels of pesticide exposure to adverse developmental outcomes.”

They projected that food, especially fruits and vegetables, are the primary source of OP exposures among these children. These residues can be avoided by eating organic fruit and vegetables.

Source: Maryse Bouchard, David Bellinger, Robert Wright, and Marc Weisskopf, “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Urinary Metabolites of Organophosphate Pesticides,” Pediatrics, Vol. 125, No. 6, June 2010.