Common pesticides used on fruits and vegetables could be responsible for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, according to an analysis of U.S. health data made public this week.
The link, though not definitive, has been called "persuasive" by experts, who are taking the study very seriously, according to a report this morning by The Associated Press on the article in the journal Pediatrics.
Pesticides break down into compounds that can be measured in urine, and those compounds were present in the urine of 94 percent of the children tested for the study. Children with higher levels in their urine had increased chances of having ADHD.
The study maintained what many organic proponents have been saying for a long time: Children are more susceptible to pesticides than adults because their bodies are smaller, and the pesticide-to-body ratio is, therefore, greater. All the more reason to eat organic produce when possible. Or, better yet, grow your own.
Some conventionally grown fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of pesticides than others, either because they are treated more heavily or because they retain more residues. So if cost is an issue, and it is for many of us, consider buying organic at the very least when shopping for fruits and vegetables on the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen of Produce" list.
THE DIRTY DOZEN: 12 fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticides