Not too sure that organic produce is worth the extra dough? This may change your mind. It looks like scientists in the US and Canada may have found a connection between pesticide exposure and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Researchers tested 1,000 kids, ages eight to 15, and analyzed their urine for traces of pesticides. They found that 119 of the participants had signs of ADHD. And get this — the children with the highest concentrations of pesticides were twice as likely to be diagnosed with this condition as compared to the kids who had only traces of the chemical in their urine. That's a huge difference. The pesticides detected were ones commonly used in conventional produce such as frozen blueberries, strawberries, and celery.
ADHD affects about 4.5 million children in the US, and 2.5 million take medication to treat their condition. That means the findings of this study aren't something that should be ignored, as the connection between pesticides and ADHD is pretty strong. Certain pesticides will leave the body after about a week, but this study shows that some degree of pesticide residue will remain in the body, making exposure to these chemicals ongoing. Kids are especially at a greater risk since their young bodies are still developing.
Scientists aren't saying that eating conventional produce that's treated with pesticides will automatically lead to the development of ADHD, because many other factors may be involved, but this study may offer yet another reason to choose organic foods whenever possible.