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Pesticide Exposure Linked to ADHD Risk

Study Shows Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphates Raises Risk of Attention Problems in Children

Wash Fruits and Veggies to Get Rid of Residue continued...

The findings "provide another critical piece of evidence linking prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides with ADHD problems, demonstrating the persistence of adverse effects well into the preschool years," says Virginia A. Rauh, ScD, deputy director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health in New York City, in an email.

The new report is consistent with other studies in the literature, says Rauh, whose institution is also conducting similar studies in New York City children. "This adds to the growing body of epidemiologic and experimental evidence showing worrisome links between organophosphate exposure, at levels common among U.S. children, and ADHD prevalence."

Jeff Stier, the associate director for the American Council on Science and Health, a New York City-based nonprofit consumer health education group, takes issue with the new study findings and the reasoning behind some of the action points that the researchers suggest.

The "warning to consumers that we wash produce to prevent pesticide exposure is completely beyond the scope of the study, which evaluated agricultural workers, not consumers," he says.

"We should wash produce before eating it to lower risk of food-borne illness, but not to reduce the imagined risk that trace pesticides would otherwise cause ADHD," he says. "I'm concerned that studies like this will have the effect of causing parents to fear feeding healthy fruits and vegetables to their children."

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