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May 18, 2010

Pesticide exposure linked to an increase in ADHD

Children exposed to high levels of organophosphates a pesticide commercially grown on fruits and vegetables are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than children with less exposure. In the study researchers measured the levels of pesticides in the urine of 1,139 children across the United States and found that high levels of pesticides doubled the odds of getting ADHD. Organophosphates have toxic effects on the nervous system. According to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pesticides are present in many of the fruits and veggies sold in the U.S. The produce tested by the agency showed 28% of the blueberries, 20% of celery and 25% of strawberries, 27% of green beans, 17% of peaches and 8% of broccoli contained traces of organophospates. This is another reason to buy organic fruits and veggies as much as possible. National surveys also have shown that fruits and veggies from farmers markets contain less pesticides another reason to buy locally.