Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pediatrics Journal Article Concludes Exposure to Pesticides May Contribute to ADHD

The study concludes: "These findings support the hypothesis that organophosphate exposure, at levels common among US children, may contribute to ADHD prevalence. Prospective studies are needed to establish whether this association is causal."

My Comments:
These conclusions come after the evidence is given that there is increased prevalence of ADHD where pesticide exposures are retained by childrens' bodies. Why do the authors say "may" contribute?

In looking at health from a perspective commonly found in Alternative Medicine (also called Biological Medicine, Complementary Medicine, Integrative Medicine), one becomes very aware that there are most often multiple causative factors that lead to ill health. Conventional Medicine (called Allopathic Medicine) often tries to find the one, single factor that leads to a specific illness. That may be a method to help our understanding of human health however it doesn't reflect the real world.

The impact that often arises from a search for a single causative factor of an illness is the discounting or totally ignoring a factor that may be one of many causative factors. These causative factors, when combined, have a synergistic effect, meaning that the sum of all these factors causes an effect that is greater than the individual effects of each factor alone. This sounds more complicated because it is. Our health and our world is more complicated than single causative factors of ill health.

Alternative Medicine including Alternative Dentistry (also called Biological Dentistry, Holistic Dentistry) look at the whole body as a system, not as pieces of a system. They are aware of multiple causative factors and the need to find all of them in order to move someone from ill health to good health. I'll stop at this point however, as you (the reader) are probably aware, there is much more to say on this subject.

Be sure to read the previous post on the President's Cancer Panel Report. Also keep reading (after my signature) for a press release from the Organic Trade Association that summarizes the findings of the above report and suggests actions to avoid risk to your children's health.

by Ed Mass
President and Founder of Yes It's Organic and Green Logo World


Organic agriculture prohibits pesticides linked to risk of ADHD

Organic Trade Association (OTA) encourages consumers to choose organic fruits and vegetables
GREENFIELD, Mass. (May 17, 2010)—Following closely on the heels of the President’s Cancer Panel Report exhorting consumers to choose food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers , antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease their exposure to environmental chemicals that can increase their risk of contracting cancer, a study published in today’s issue of the journal Pediatrics concludes that exposure to organophosphate pesticides at levels common among U.S. children may contribute to the prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in these children.

“Studies have increasingly shown the importance of minimizing young children’s exposure to even low levels of chemical pesticides. This study adds to that wealth of knowledge and arms parents with information that helps them reduce their children’s pesticide intake,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director, pointing out that the use of organophosphates is prohibited in organic production.

The article reported findings from a study examining the association between urinary concentrations of metabolites of organophosphates and ADHD in children ages 8 to 15. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers led by Maryse Bouchard, a researcher in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montreal, analyzed the levels of pesticide metabolites in the urine of 1,139 children and found children with above-average levels had roughly twice the odds of being diagnosed with ADHD.

As the largest study of this kind so far, it reminds consumers that organophosphates were originally developed for use in chemical warfare because they are known to be toxic to the nervous system. Organophosphate compounds are used in agriculture to kill pests.

“Organic food production and processing is the only system that uses certification and inspection to verify that these chemicals are not used,” Bushway added. “Those seeking to minimize their exposure to these chemicals can look for the USDA Organic label wherever they shop.”

The abstract of the paper published in the journal Pediatrics is accessible online.
For more information on organic, go to the Organic Trade Association’s consumer web site,

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.