liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Prenatal Organophosphate Exposure Increases ADHD Risk

"We found that higher concentrations of organophosphate metabolites in the urine of pregnant women was associated with increased odds of attention problems and poorer attention scores in their young children as assessed either by maternal report, psychometrician observation, or by direct assessment," the study authors write.

Bottom line: pregnant women should wash their veggies and fruits very well, and consider locating away from agricultural areas during gestation.

title: More Evidence Organophosphate Pesticides Raise ADHD Risk in Children
author: Caroline Helwick

prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides sig incr susceptibilitly to ADHD
in Mexican-American kids in Salinas valley
heavy agriculture and pesticide use there: over 235,000 kg of pesticides is applied annually
new findings published June in Pediatrics

senior author of the article: Brenda Eskenazi, PhD
UC Berkeley professor of epidemiology and maternal and child health
lead study author Amy Marks, MPH
former analyst at the University of California (UC) Berkeley's School of Public Health
published online August 19 in Environmental Health Perspectives
Mexican American mothers recruited during pregnancy
Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas
longitudinal examination of environmental exposures and reproductive health

study on over 300 kids
kids with high organophosphate levels in urine have more ADHD than those with lower levels
prenatal exposures more strongly associated than exposures after birth
10x incr in levels of urinary dialkyl phosphate (DAP) metabolites in the mother's urine during pregnancy correlated to a 500% increase in the diagnosis of attention disorders in 5-year-olds
children were not clinically diagnosed: used maternal subjective reporting, not DSM-IV criteria

6 organophosphate metabolites measured in urine of mothers during preg
also measured in kids from birth-->5yoa
presence of these metabolites indicates exposure to pesticides
***chlorpyrifos, diazinon, oxydemeton-methyl are widely used

children's behavior assessed at 3.5 years (n = 331) and 5 years (n = 323)
mothers' reports (Child Behavior Checklist)
standardized psychological tests (NEPSY-II visual attention subtest at the age of 3.5 years
Conners' Kiddie Continuous Performance Test [K-CPT] at the age of 5 years)

psychometricians scored the 5-year-olds' behavior
Hillside Behavior Rating Scale (HBRS)

controlled for potential confounders: birthweight, lead exposure, breastfeeding

key finding: strong adverse association of DAP levels in utero with attention disorders in young children
finding most robust among 5 year old boys
positive link found in 3.5 years but not statistically sig
hard to recognize ADHD in toddlers, dx usu occurs in school

disrupt neurotransmitters esp acetylcholine
ACTH is critical for brain development, helps to sustain attention and short-term memory
organophosphates may also disrupt DNA replication and the growth of nerve axons and dendrites
young children have less acetylcholinesterase-->more susceptible to damages


10x more DAP in urine-->kids 5x more likely to be over 70% on ADHD index
total DAP concentration assoc w/ ADHD sx using combined 3 indices

ADHD sx at age 5-->learning & achievement probs in school, accidental injuries, probs in peer relationships
ADHD is multifactorial: toxins aren't whole explanation

Tags: adhd, farming, food, nervous system, neurotransmitters, parenting, pregnancy, psych, toxins

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