ADHD and Pesticides

by | Nov 9, 2012

Pesticides have been around for a very long time.  These chemicals are designed to kill mosquitoes, termites and other household bugs by damaging their nervous systems.  They are sprayed as a preventive measure to keep bugs from destroying crops.  They are quite effective in killing bugs but what are the effects on humans, especially children?  Perhaps there wasn’t enough information or awareness years ago, but there definitely is today.  Pesticides are toxins and anything toxic is not beneficial to adults or children.  In fact, pesticides are associated with being a cause of ADHD.
In a Canadian study, over a thousand children were tested for toxic residue of pesticides in their urine.  It was found that children with substantially higher levels of the toxic residue were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.  This was the first study to look at everyday exposure of pesticides to children around the country.  Previously, studies were only done on people like farmers who had contact with pesticides daily. 
In another study of an area in California that does have heavy pesticide use, the urine of pregnant women was monitored for pesticide residue.  Their children were then screened for ADHD at ages three and five.  It was found that the higher the level of pesticide residue in the mother, the more likely the child would be a candidate for ADHD diagnosis.  In fact, there was a five hundred percent increase in attention problems in the five year olds of the women who had the highest pesticide levels during pregnancy.  This suggests that prenatal exposure to pesticides may be even more detrimental than exposure during childhood.
What needs to be known is that children retain toxins in their bodies more than adults do.  Their smaller developing bodies are not able to break down the pesticides and get rid of them completely.  This makes them more at risk to the detrimental effects of the toxins as they grow.  This is why they are misdiagnosed with ADHD when the real reason for their inattentive behavior is more likely from over exposure to pesticides or some other environmental factor.
When you look at the skyrocketing rate of diagnoses of ADHD over recent years and how many pesticides are increasingly in use, this all makes sense.  Everyone may not readily see it, but we are all exposed to some level of pesticides every second of the day. 
Pesticides are on our fruits and vegetables.  Malathion, which is a type of pesticide commonly sprayed out of airplanes to control mosquitoes, was found on twenty-eight percent of frozen blueberries, twenty-five percent of frozen strawberries and nineteen percent of celery.
In a random sample of the general population, DDT was found in one hundred percent of the blood samples taken.  DDT is now banned, but it is still used on imported crops.  It was found in nineteen percent of lettuce and a pesticide more poisonous than DDT was found in sixty-five percent of potatoes.  One can only imagine what toxic levels could be found in our homes from spraying for termites, roaches and other pests.
Just to give you an idea of how many pesticides are around, there are forty different kinds of a pesticide called organophosphates that are registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  This is just one type!  This gives you the idea of just how many pesticides are available so how can they not be in our food, drinking water and homes.  This is why the conclusion of the first study mentioned is to buy organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible and use non-toxic pest control and organic gardening methods.  It has been found that switching to an organic diet will reduce toxic levels in the urine by eighty-five to ninety percent.
With this information in mind, it is only logical to think that the levels of common pesticides in this country are significantly increasing children’s risk of an ADHD diagnosis.   When you look at the fact that these chemicals intentionally disrupt the nervous systems of insects, it can only have a similar spillover effect on humans, given the amount of pesticides everywhere.  When a child’s developing nervous system is damaged by these toxins, brain development, memory and attention are also adversely affected.
The other point to consider is that here is a true tangible cause of ADHD behavior.  That prompts the thought that there must be other environmental factors that produce ADHD symptoms as well.  And if there are environmental factors that explain such behavior, how can ADHD be called a “mental disorder?”
It can’t be called a “mental disorder” because psychiatrists have failed to produce any scientific evidence to support the existence of ADHD.   Psychiatry has no medical tests, only opinions about symptoms.  There certainly exists undesirable behavior in children, but it’s not a medical disease.  Psychiatrists will tell you that a chemical brain imbalance is the source of ADHD, yet there is no test, x-ray or MRI to prove it.  
The point is to find a physiological cause of any behavior issue like ADHD.  Whether it is pesticides, food dyes, too much sugar, allergies or a host of other possibilities, it’s important to find the source of the problem so it can be handled terminatedly.  Psychiatrists can only “treat” symptoms with dangerous mind-altering drugs that have horrendous side effects that never get to the root of the problem.  Their answer is drugs which are just more toxins.  Our survival depends on less toxins not more.  Consequently, psychiatrists do not provide a workable answer or solution.


Leave a Reply


Contact CCHR Florida

109 N. Fort Harrison Ave.
Clearwater, Florida 33755
Tel: 1-800-782-2878