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Children exposed to pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Pesticide exposure at levels commonly found in a child’s environment may contribute to the development of attention deficit disorder, according to a study published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics. The food supply is the major source of pesticide exposure for infants and children, according to the National Academy of Sciences. Frozen blueberries, strawberries and celery, for example, have been found to contain detectable levels of the pesticide organophosphate malathion, one of about 40 organophosphate pesticides registered in the U.S., according to the study. In the Pediatrics study, the researchers measured pesticide levels in urine samples in 1,139 children between the ages of 8 and 15. After controlling for other factors, such as socioeconomic status, sex, and age, they found that the higher the concentration of organophosphates, the higher the risk of ADHD in children.

 

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