New study links ADHD in kids to pesticides - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/18/10

New study links ADHD in kids to pesticides found on fruits & veggies

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

By Katie Bauer - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new study is linking ADHD in children to common pesticides found on fruits and vegetables.

A little more than 1,000 kids were tested in this study done by the Journal of Pediatrics and 119 of the children had ADHD. What they discovered was those children had high levels of pesticides in their system.

Fruits and veggies are two things you can't get enough of, or so we thought. "Levels of organophosphates were found in about 25% of very common fruits, like frozen blueberries, or strawberries," said Covenant Pediatrician Dr. Jeremy Dalton.  

In a recent study, scientists discovered exposure to pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables could double a child's risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD, a neurological disorder that affects how children act. "It's manifested by three basic characteristics. Hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness, it's usually one of those or a combination of the three," said Dalton.

Dalton says he was surprised by the link.

Studies like this only encourage food and safety manager Christie Pare with United Supermarkets to keep spreading one simple message. "Clean hands, clean utensils and clean fruits and vegetables before you slice them," said Pare.

Pare says it's so important to make sure you thoroughly wash all produce in cold water before you eat, and some may need a little extra oomph. "Take a scrub brush with the firmer fruits and vegetables apples, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, potatoes scrub these really well."

Mom of two teenagers, Cassie Hughes says she's heard about this study. "I never feed my kids anything without washing it." She says it now serves as a reminder.

"I have a niece that we take care of she is 18 months old so definitely it makes me stop and think. I just keep continuing to do what I do just wash, wash, wash, my produce."

As for Dr. Dalton, he says this food group is still essential. "I'm definitely going to encourage parents to keep feeding their kids fruits and vegetables because it's a very important part of their diet, but I think that a little bit of education can go a long way."

Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without any chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides. Another option to consider, but still make sure you are washing these products well.

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