Study: ADHD linked to pesticide exposure

May 17, 2010 at 8:56 PM

MONTREAL, May 17 (UPI) -- Canadian and U.S. scientists say pesticide exposure may be linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Researchers from University of Montreal and Harvard University in Boston found exposure to organophosphate pesticides increased the risk of children having the symptoms of the developmental disorder ADHD.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, concluded exposure to pesticides may contribute to the presence of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity and other symptoms of ADHD.

"Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals," lead author Maryse Bouchard of the University of Montreal said in a statement. "Our study found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to ADHD behaviors."

Bouchard and colleagues determined pesticide levels by analyzing the children's urine. In total, 1,139 U.S. children participated in the study.

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