The web is full of reviews claiming ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in children is caused often due to exposure to pesticides. Hence, physicians and health experts suggest that children should immediately switch to consuming only organic vegetables and fruits and for pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid pesticides in all forms.
Know the risks
Some researchers conducted studies where residue was searched for, from the organophosphate pesticides urine samples taken from 1,000 children of ages 8-15 years. Those having higher average pesticide levels had double ADHD risks when compared to those having undetectable levels.
The study was not found to be surprising because, organophosphate pesticides tend to function by having the nervous system attacked. Other studies also showed children facing lower IQs when exposed to such pesticides.
Another major study conducted way back in 2010 stated that autism is also linked with this pesticide. Pregnant women residing within a mile of the site of agricultural pesticide application were found to have increased risk by about 60% of having a child with autism. Hence, medical experts suggest pregnant women to Avoid Pesticides during Pregnancy. The American Pediatrics Academy suggests that exposure to pesticide in early life only increases risk in the child of cancer, behavioral problems and brain disorders.
Some of the pesticides used commonly to grow vegetables and fruits include Organophosphate.
- In 2013 in the U.S., about 1/3rd of 3,000+ vegetables and fruits were found to have pesticide residues.
- Studies conducted showed that people consuming organic vegetables and fruits had in their urine less amount of organophosphate pesticide residues.
Therefore, pesticides found within the produce can prove to be more than expensive, however, is not to be seen as anything complicated. One should try to find the label stating ‘USDA Organic’. It is simply not possible for food to be certified as organic, in case, it had been grown in pesticide treated soil for about 3 consecutive years.
Tips for safeguarding against pesticides
- Pesticides are to be strongly avoided during pregnancy, near or outside the home. Children should also be kept away from those areas, which have been pesticide treated recently.
- Pregnant women and those having small children should Avoid Pesticides during Breastfeeding. It is wise for such women to move away from such areas that witness pesticide treatment on a regular basis. This should be done at least during the initial 8 weeks of their pregnancy.
- In case, the person is not able to find or afford to buy organic produce for self and children, then it will be wise to buy something that has minimum pesticide residue in it. Such produce includes avocados, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, cabbage, eggplant, frozen sweet peas, kiwis, papaya, mangoes, pineapple, grape fruit, etc.
- Also, one should try to avoid produce that is found with pesticide residue such as apples, nectarines, peaches, grapes, strawberries, potatoes, imported snap peas, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.
- All produce should be washed properly and thoroughly.
- Pesticide residue can be reduced with proper cooking.
Hence, it will be safe for children, pregnant and breastfeeding women to consume only organic produce and refrain from pesticide residue of all types.