Study Links Exposure to Common Pesticide With ADHD in Boys
Cincinnati, OH - A new study links a commonly used household pesticide with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and young teens.
The study found an association between pyrethroid pesticide exposure and ADHD, particularly in terms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, rather than inattentiveness. The association was stronger in boys than in girls. The study, led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, is published online in the journal Environmental Health.
“Given the growing use of pyrethroid pesticides and the perception that they may represent a safe alternative, our findings may be of considerable public health importance,” says Tanya Froehlich, MD, a developmental pediatrician at Cincinnati Children’s and the study’s corresponding author.
Due to concerns about adverse health consequences, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the two most commonly used organophosphate pesticides from residential use in 2000-2001. The ban led to the increased use of pyrethroid pesticides, which are now the most commonly used pesticides for residential pest control and public health purposes.
Pyrethroids have often been considered a safer choice because they are not as acutely toxic as the banned organophosphates. Animal studies, on the other hand, suggested a heightened vulnerability to the effects of pyrethroid exposure on hyperactivity, impulsivity and abnormalities in the dopamine system in male mice. Dopamine is a neurochemical in the brain thought to be involved in many activities, including those that govern ADHD. Continue>
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