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Human ADHD Effects and Environmental Pesticides Link

Updated on June 12, 2014

Investigating the Effects of Pesticides

Learning more about how pesticides effect the brain. We must err on the side of caution when using chemicals in our environment.
Learning more about how pesticides effect the brain. We must err on the side of caution when using chemicals in our environment. | Source

Environmental Pollution Increases Risk of ADHD

The statistics and data keeps coming in. Research implicates the use of chemicals for risk and incidence of disease. See my recent hubs on pollution linked to asthma and autism. Across the board, you would think that logical rational minds would understand the principle that tampering with the environment changes the natural order.

Dumping neurotoxins on plants to inhibit, kill or resist insects and fungus will accumulate in the bodies of those who eat the plants. No amount of washing will clean the residue inside those plants. Over generations of plants sprayed with these chemicals, we will find permanent changes that may be unhealthy and damaging to both the plant and the animals who eat these plants.

Over the course of a lifetime, we will be building up these internal pollutants which may result in many symptoms assumed to old age. When people begin to forget names, places, dates, where or who they are we may call it alzheimer's disease or dementia. But, what if these are symptoms from the intake and accumulation of chemicals in our food?

ADHD Pesticide Link In The News

Definition of Pesticides

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines pesticide as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or controlling any pest, including vectors of human or animal disease, unwanted species of plants or animals causing harm during or otherwise interfering with the production, processing, storage or marketing of food, agricultural commodities, wood and wood products or animal food stuffs or which may be administered to animals for the control of insects, arachnids or other pests in or on their bodies (FAO, 1986).

Listen Carefully

The Media reports cautiously today, specifically geared to "Evidence-based" scientific jargon. This refers to double-blind studies with control groups. In reality, we cannot do these types of studies because of the harm that may result. We cannot expose children to the quantities of chemicals that are now spread in our environments. We could easily predict the outcome of disease. Ethically, we will never be able to do such studies and we should not expose laboratory animals either. Rather, we should take a look at the information, data and observations before us to make rational decisions and conclusions.

The study analysis links ADHD and Pesticides on 4.5 Million children between age of 5-17, but they do not say this is cause and effect. We know that many factors contribute to ADHD and this is one in the bundle that we have brought upon ourselves. Other potential contributing factors to ADHD include genetics, other environmental toxins, and dietary factors.

The 3% increase each year tells the story. Over one-thousand samples of urine were tested for organophosphates, and those samples indicated a TWO-FOLD risk of ADHD. That is 50% risk when chemicals were found in the urine. What about the quantity of organophosphates, would that correlate to the seriousness of the disease?

Why is this information important?

The researchers hypothesize that children might be more sensitive to exposure of chemicals since their brains are in the formative stages. That includes fetus, nursing infants getting toxins from mothers blood, and young children in rapid stage of growth. Nevertheless, we are all growing new cells daily and changing our body based upon our environmental exposures.

Relationships between body weight, size and exposure through respiration and food intake can be taken into account. We are all affected, we just see more profound effects in the young. That means we must all be concerned for our health.

We cannot live in a sterile environment. A slip of the tongue? These pesticides, insecticides, fungicides and GMO foods cause sterility!

Recommendation to read the labels is wise advice. Unfortunately, the labels do not tell the entire story. The labels do not tell everything that has been used to grow these plants or preserve them.

Dr. Dana Boyd Barr discusses Link Between ADHAD and Pesticides

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.

Dr. Dana Boyd Barr discusses the study, which measured the levels of pesticide by-products in the urine of 1,139 children from across the United States. Children with above-average levels of organo-phosphatest had twice the odds of getting a diagnosis of ADHD.

Data from the national nutrition and from the CDC lab where Dr Barr' previously worked for 20 years was analysed by another group in this study. Presently, Dana Boyd Barr, PhD, is a Research Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

The Prevalence of Chemicals In Our Lives

The Greatest Concern

The Greatest Concern appears to be the prevalence of these harmful pesticides in the development of fetus, infant and child. However, long term exposure through daily intake of these substances may affect everyone on the planet.

A few things you can do:

  • Eating local from organic farmers, growing your own heirloom vegetable seeds and keeping fruit trees helps.
  • Eat cilantro and other herbs that assist in removing chemicals and metals from the body
  • Drink clean water to flush out the body
  • Participate in legislative action to protect the environment
  • Ask your local stores to carry organic products 

Developmental Delays and Loss of I.Q.

Anne Riederer, Assistant Research Professor

In utero pesticide exposures and neurodevelopmental outcomes in a prospective birth cohort from Northern Thailand (NIH/NIEHS; collaboration w/ Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand)
In utero pesticide exposures and neurodevelopmental outcomes in a prospective birth cohort from Northern Thailand (NIH/NIEHS; collaboration w/ Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand) | Source

P. Barry Ryan, Professor Department of: Environmental Health

Rollins School of Public Health
Rollins School of Public Health

Testing Breast Milk in Thai Women

Health Care System is Government Run and A Prenatal Care

A research project funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Research to study Women in Thailand who are pregnant, have delivered newborns and their young children will help us understand the effects of pesticide exposure in milk and milk formulas.

Thai women work in agriculture farms where greater exposure to pesticides makes them good subjects for this type of analysis. The citrus crops are sprayed regularly accumulate in the fruit, while the daily sprays mist the air with breathable particles. Another aspect of this study will result in improved methods for measuring pesticides in breast milk and infant formula.

Anne Riederer and P. Barry Ryan of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, talk about why Thailand was chosen as the trial location. They work at the Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

Organophosphate Poisoning

We have the data. Why wait? Reviews of case series indicate that pediatric organophosphate poisonings often manifest with hypotonia or mental status changes such as lethargy and coma, as well as seizures
We have the data. Why wait? Reviews of case series indicate that pediatric organophosphate poisonings often manifest with hypotonia or mental status changes such as lethargy and coma, as well as seizures | Source

Slow Painful Death

Cell Death: Investigating the effects of organophosphates in the body tells me the body undergoes a slow painful death. We see the effects more dramatically in children, but adults also undergo these transitions in mental function and neurological damage.

Pesticides used to damage insect nervous system do the same to humans and other animals. That means the deer, dogs, birds and bees that visit these field crop intake the chemicals. When humans eat these tainted foods we also damage our nervous system.

  • Organophosphates are anti-esterase insecticides, and exert their acute effects by causing overstimulation at cholinergic nerve terminals.

How The Researchers Detect Organophosphates in the Urine Samples:

  • The body hydrolizes organophosphates, creating alkyl phosphates and phenols which can be detected in the urine up to 48 hours after pesticide absorption.
  • Test results help identify and quantify the actual pesticide exposure.
  • Urinary alkyl phosphate and phenol analyses can demonstrate organophosphate absorption at lower dosages than those required to depress cholinesterase activities and at much lower dosages than those required to produce signs and symptoms of toxicity.
  • These urinary metabolites are often used to assess the presence of chronic organophospate exposure.

If everyone knew this information would they purchase food products grown with pesticides? Would they choose food grown organically and safely that were grown using companion planting with well mulched soils?

Testing My Knowledge

I knew about the link between ADHD and Pesticides

See results

What Rational Helps You Make Your Food Choices

I thought that ~

See results

Interesting Articles

  • Pesticides Reduce Mosquito Populations

    Pesticides used to reduce mosquito populations and diseases that are spread through this vector also diminish bee populations and affect human health.

  • Air Pollution Increases Risk For Autism

    As roads become heavily populated, exhaust fumes increase pollutants into the atmosphere LATEST NEWS: Autism from Automobile Exhaust Fumes We may be seeing a correlation between environmental pollutants and...

  • Increase of Air Pollution Linked to Asthma

    Psychological studies find a link between air pollution and asthma.

  • Beware Articles Written Against Homeopathy

    Are the physicians running scared? The well-funded and passionately insane anti-homeopathy movement turns tail and runs backwards.

  • Lead Poisoning Effects The Brain

    In an article by Heidi Stevenson on the Gaia Health website information about lead toxicity and poisoning is presented. Exposure to lead effects the brain, the mind and behavior.

  • Obama Administration Convenes Environmental Leaders Dec 15, 2010

    The Obama administration is investing in clean energy to not only improve the environment, but to strengthen the economy, save families money and create jobs in all communities.

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About the Author

Debby Bruck, CHOM is a Homeopath, the founder and administrator of Homeopathy World Community a platform for homeopaths to share and learn from each other.  Debby believes that homeopathy is the wave of the future and provides hope and healing to those who have tried every other approach. Follow Debby on Twitter. All Hubpage blogs written by Debby Bruck are for informational purposes only. Please contact your healthcare professional. 


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    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      7 years ago

      Hello Marisa ~ So much happens in our environment without our awareness, knowledge or permission. Winds can carry these pesticides into suburbs and living quarters, school yards and playgrounds. We don't walk around wearing masks, so these subtle pollutions can affect many people over the course of a lifetime and we cannot make the correlation. Definitely keep your eyes open and notify the city if you see anything unusual. Join with others who want to protect the children and the environment. You might be interested in my Hubpages about the bees. Blessings, Debby

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Hi Debby - very interesting information. I had heard about these links before. As a middle school teacher I can say that I have quite a handful of students that are officially diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. I do not think any of mine are misdiagnosed either. The symptoms extend beyond 'normal' fidgety and distracted behavior. I have one student that even twists his arms and legs together while hugging himself. Sometimes he'll even excuse himself and do jumping jacks in the hallway to release his energy. This is WHILE he is medicated. He is a wonderful student, but has a very hard time remaining mentally and physically focused.

      Incidentally, the city I live and work in does have a population of over 125,000 people. The purchased foods and its respective contamination is a concern. However, I can't help but acknowledge that our surrounding area has several produce farms and orange groves. It is not uncommon to see crop dusters outside our city limits. HHhmmm

      Thank you for increasing awareness - I'll definitely keep my radar on with this topic. Very sobering.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      Hi Gjcody - many thanks for supportive remarks. Do share and get the word out. Blessings, Debby

    • gjcody profile image


      8 years ago

      Debby ..I agree with you and you are right on. I have to say that I agree with FCEtier also on the genocide part.

      There should be a ton of people reading this article and commenting. But mostly people close their eyes to the truth. It is easier to close our eyes.

      Keep up the great work and keep talking. I always say "If we help only one!" One at a time!!

      My best to you and your health!!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      H Prasetio30 ~ I thank you for the compliment and thumbs up. I write due to inspiration and education. be well. Debby

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. I learn much from you. We have to know something about our healthy early. Thank you very much. Rating up. Happy New Year!

      Blessing and hugs,

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      Hello Richard. I see your utopian green forest in the mist. Let's meditate on that image and hope people will wise up. Love, Debby

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      I fully agree with you. No matter what chemical they bound to have an effect on our health, especially in the long run. I am sure everybody knows it but there is too much money in it for the chemical companies.

    • FCEtier profile image


      8 years ago from Cold Mountain

      Deja vu! LOL I commented there already! :-)

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for comments FCEtier. I wonder what would happen if we really invested in natural means to clean up the pest problems? Then we would not have to resort to DDT and other chemicals. The problem is the chain of events where upon we destroy the natural balance in the environment. When we think we are doing good, but the rebound from nature and its ability to mutate faster than we can fight back with our 'smart bombs' results in havoc. Take a read to the mosquito hub

    • FCEtier profile image


      8 years ago from Cold Mountain

      Good information to consider. I hope we don't jump to conclusions like we did when Rachel Carson spoke up. The lack of availability of DDT in developing countries has caused an outbreak of malaria that some claim is nothing short of genocide.

      Anyway, good article and thought provoking, thanks!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      8 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you Debby. That was really inspiring. I admire people, like you, who think so passionately about issues and situations

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      8 years ago

      My dear Twilight. Truth is stranger than fiction. And our world can be quite frightening, especially if we don't face the truth and the dark sides which we bring upon ourselves.

      To be knowledgeable gives the information with which to make right choices and to fight against the darkness. The beginning is knowledge, then must come action. Speak out, fight for legislation to change the statutes and laws of the land.

      Bind together with others of like mind. Protect the children, the future and ourselves.

      Thank you for listening. Blessings in the New Year. Debby

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      8 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      My goodness, Debbie, your hubs are scary sometimes, but they make me think; and that must be the best thing that can come out if them... if people think, but let us hope that people DO things about the issues as well.


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