In continuation of our Back to School good health interests and building healthy habits for our children, we came across another newsy study on the August 19, 2010 * Healthnotes Newswire that is worth repeating (and repeating ). The study in Pediatrics suggests that exposure to certain pesticides may increase the risk of ADHD, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, in children. The study authors mention food, drinking water and the home as common exposure sources of pesticides with dietary sources as THE most common exposure source for infants and children.
[This study found that organophosphatesâ€”specific chemicals found in some pesticidesâ€”were more likely to be higher in the urine of children who were diagnosed with ADHD (119 out of 1,139 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).
The Environmental Protection Agency states that children may be at particular risk from pesticide exposure because their developing brains are sensitive to such exposure and because many of their activities are closer to the ground, where pesticides are found. The study authors also point out that children have less detoxifying enzymes to clear pesticides from their system compared with adults.]
Natural Healthy Concepts unequivocally supports reducing and minimizing our exposure to pesticides – from infants, children and teenagers to adults and families managing ADHD, as well as these helpful tips outlined in the study:
- Buy organic food if possible. While organic foods may not be completely pesticide-free, the exposure is generally less than non-organically grown foods. Eating a variety of foods may also help avoid excessive exposure to one type of pesticide.
- Wash fruits and vegetables. It may not eliminate pesticide exposure, but this extra step can reduce exposure. Peeling produce may also help, though doing so may reduce the amount of nutrients gained from eating. Natural Healthy Concepts suggests making your own organic fruit and vegetable wash – try this recipe.
- Encourage kids practice good hygiene. After playing outdoors, it is important for kids to wash up and clean off dirt and chemicals. Some households also ask people to take their shoes off at the door so as not to track in chemicals on floors and carpets.
- Be educated about pesticide products. It is important to be educated about the products you use around the home and to become aware of eco-friendly products with natural pesticides, which may help reduce exposure to toxins. The Environmental Protection Agency website offers a lot of information about how to protect kids from potentially toxic pesticides. When using any type of pesticide, follow the label instructions for safe handling and disposal. We at Natural Healthy Concepts suggest using our environmentally friendlyÂ Ecover Household products.
- Ask schools to protect kids. Parents can get further involved in helping protect kids from pesticide exposure by asking schools to use environmentally- and child-friendly products in the building and on the playground.
[Keep in mind that while the authors of the new study suggest an association between pesticides and ADHD, they cannot prove from this study alone that pesticide exposure is the cause.]
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