Monday, August 23, 2010

From Grist: Another reason why zapping kids and fetuses with pesticides is not a good idea

Bonnie Azab Powell, writing today in Grist:

A new study, published last week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at the effects of both prenatal and childhood exposure to organophosphate pesticides -- of which 73 million pounds are applied each year in the U.S. -- and found yet another link to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Not surprisingly, children living in agricultural areas are even more at risk.

UC Berkeley researchers have been studying more than 300 Mexican-American children living in California's Salinas Valley, a.k.a. America's "Lettuce Bowl." They tested for levels of pesticide metabolites in urine in pregnant mothers, their newborns, and at 2 years old. The findings? Each tenfold increase in pesticide levels in the mothers' urine was associated with a fivefold increase in attention problems, and boys had it worse than girls.
This study does not surprise me. I've written often about my family's experience with ADHD and ADD. There are environmental and hereditary contributors to ADHD. More research is needed. But the most controversial aspect swirling around this disorder pits ADHD believers against the non-believers. Also, the drug therapy crowd vs. the "don't drug our kids" crowd. I believe that ADHD exists. And I've seen Ritalin and Concerta work on my kids and my wife. More here than meets the eye, Jim.

1 comment:

mpage225 said...

Mike,

when I read about this study I immediately thought about my son Sam and your son. I also have first hand knowledge that it exists and get really upset with the morons that claim it is just a lack of discipline.

I also have experience with Ritalin and agree that it does work. May not be an ideal treatment, but it makes a difference.

Your story "We Are Distracted" was one of my my first real insights into the nature of ADHD. Keep up the good fight.

Bob