Study Shows Pesticide Exposure Leads to Attention Problems in Children

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A new study shows that children who were exposed to certain pesticides while they were in their mother’s womb, have a higher risk of developing attention disorder, like ADHD in their later years .

In a study conducted by the researchers of the University of California-Berkeley and as published in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, the group has followed thechildren of mothers who have absorbed the organophosphate pesticides when they were pregnant.pesticides cause adhd

The study was conducted by testing the urine of pregnant Mexican-African women in the region of Salinas Valley of California, a chief agricultural region for the organophosphate metabolites. Their children were followed for five years to know whether they have any disorders.

The children were divided into various groups depending on the amount of organophosphates present in their mothers urine. They were assessed for ADHD by standardized tests and questionnaires. The results showed no major differences till the age of three, however, the number of problems significantly increased by the age of five.

The higher the pesticide metabolite contents in the urine of a mother, the greater were the chances of her child getting ADHD.

A previous study concluded that children with high levels of organophosphate traces in their urine, were twice as prone to develop ADHD when compared to children with no pesticide metabolites in their urine. Organophosphates affect the neurotransmitters and thereby the development of the human brain.

At present, nearly 40 organophosphate pesticides are registered to use in the United States.  Though the results are not conclusive, prenatal exposure to pesticide metabolites may affect the attention of young children.

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