Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Study Links Pesticides with Childhood ADHD

Just as I've been writing about The Feingold Diet, an interesting AP article by Carla K. Johnson appeared in my local newspaper.  A mainstream scientific study has found a link between pesticides and childhood ADHD.  The government health survey - based study looked at the one-time urine samples of 1139 children (ages 8 to 15) as well as interviews with the parents to determine the ADHD status of the children.

Although this link is not news to many parents, the study's mainstream backing is rare and is to be praised.

According to the article, experts say that research shows persuasive evidence that agricultural pesticides contribute to learning disorders.  Virginia Rauh of Columbia University says that the study should be taken seriously.

Maryse Bouchard of the University of Montreal says that people can limit pesticide exposure by eating organic produce.  A government report has found the highest concentrations of pesticides in three items:  frozen blueberries, frozen strawberries, and celery. 

Yes, those are the frozen blueberries that are highly touted for their antioxidant properties.  So, there are many people eating non-organic frozen blueberries, in an effort to be healthy.  Instead, they are sadly loading their bodies with pesticides.

A 2008 Emory University study found that when children switched to organic produce, the levels of pesticides in their urine dropped to almost zero.  So, there is definitely hope.  I actually know of a mom of a child with autism who says that their most successful invention for their son has been making his diet 100% organic.

This kind of information linking pesticides to health problems is hard for some people to hear.  My dad worked in pesticide legislation for most of his career, and he just cannot accept information showing that pesticides may be harmful.  At the same time, I wonder if somehow I was negatively effected by my dad's pro-pesticide stance, possibly leading to at least part of why our oldest son is on the autism spectrum.

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