A study published in the latest issue of Pediatrics takes a closer look at the relation between the ingestion of certain pesticides and cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Children’s Hospital Boston’s Robert Wright, MD, MPH, and David Bellinger, PhD were co-authors on the study.
“Research shows the number of cases of ADHD is rising in the country, but it’s not very clear why,” says Wright. “One potential cause of this could be the chemicals we’ve introduced into our environments over the years at higher and higher rates, including pesticides.”
By analyzing the urine of its test subjects for traces of specific phosphates often found in pesticides, and comparing the data with ADHD information provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the study concluded that children with higher levels of dialkyl phosphate in their systems were more likely to be diagnosed as having ADHD.