Pregnant women have been urged to make sure they wash their fruit and vegetables well before eating them as common pesticides may increase the chances of ADHD.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that mums-to-be with high levels of pesticides in their urine were more likely to have children who suffered from ADHD by the age of 5.
“It’s known that food is a significant source of pesticide exposure among the general population. I would recommend thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, especially if you’re pregnant,” said Brenda Eskenazi, professor of maternal and child health.
This study, which looked at just 300 mums-to-be, backs up previous findings that children’s exposure to pesticides can increase their risk of ADHD, giving scientists a better idea of the affect of these chemicals on the brain.
“These studies provide a growing body of evidence that organophosphate pesticide exposure can impact human neurodevelopment, particularly among children. We were especially interested in prenatal exposure because that is the period when a baby’s nervous system is developing the most,” explained the study author, Amy Marks.
For more info and to find out what symptoms to look for, MFM has teamed up with NHS Choices to give you the lowdown on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.