What To Do About The Link Between ADHD / ADD and Pesticides

by | Jun 14, 2010 | General | 0 comments

woman's hand holding spray bottle and spraying plants

Are you wondering what to do about the latest research showing a link between ADHD / ADD and pesticides? The latest research shows a connection between rising rates of Attention Deficit in children to commercial use of pesticides on fruits and vegetables.

If you missed it, the study was reported in the June 2010 issue of Pediatrics Magazine. Researchers analyzed more than 1,100 girls and boys between ages eight and 15. Children with the highest pesticide levels in their urine had a higher risk of having ADHD / ADD.

The research was done on children who are apparently more vulnerable to pesticides than adults. It’s unknown if pesticide levels in food effects Adult ADD / ADHD.

The study results sure got the attention of my ADD coaching clients. Since the report’s release, the question of what to do about pesticides has popped up in many coaching calls.

What Stops People with ADD / ADHD From Eating Organic?

The problem isn’t availability. Organic produce is more widely obtainable all the time. Even mid-sized communities enjoy a more robust organic selection than just a couple of years ago.

My ADD coaching clients‘ biggest roadblock for switching to organic produce is the cost. Many people, as much as they would like, simply can’t afford to buy all organic.

I’ve done some investigating in search of a reasonable solution. Cutting out fruits and vegetables isn’t an option. Eating a healthy diet is a cornerstone of coping with ADD / ADHD.

Fortunately, you have options. Thanks to the work of The Environmental Working Group, you’re not left with an all-or-nothing approach to eating organic.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 with a mission of protecting public health and the environment. They’ve studied fifty of the most commonly used fruits and vegetables in the USA and have ranked them according to pesticide levels.

It turns out pesticides are more heavily used on some produce than others. Buying organic varieties of those fruits and vegetables will greatly reduce the levels of pesticides you and your family ingest.

Here’s the EWG’s latest list of what they call the “Dirty Dozen”; the fruits and vegetables most likely to contain pesticide residues.

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples – If you can’t find organic, New Zealand apples contain half as many pesticides as those grown in the USA.
  5. Domestic Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Sweet Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Collard Greens/Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Imported Grapes – The worst are from Chile. US grown grapes are treated with fewer pesticides.

Still can’t afford or find organic versions of the Dirty Dozen? Carefully washing all produce and peeling the peaches, apples, nectarines and potatoes will reduce pesticide residues.

The Last Word In ADD Success

What’s worse than eating foods containing pesticides? I think it’s being scared of everything. Learning too much about the dangers in our food, water and world.

For lunch today I enjoyed a green salad with tuna fish, watermelon, crackers and a glass of milk. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Yet since I’d spent the morning researching pesticides in foods and perusing the EWG web site, part of me was scared about what I was putting in my body. The lettuce and crackers were organic but the rest wasn’t and the tuna contained mercury. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Please, don’t go overboard worrying about this stuff. I simply want you to be aware so you can do the best you can to manage ADD in your family. And, please don’t stop eating those fruits and veggies. Getting lots of those, organic or not, is vital to your overall general health!

To Your ADD Success,


P.S. When you work with an ADD coach you learn all kinds of new habits like being on time and being organized. What are you waiting for? I’ve got two opening for new clients starting next month. Contact me about ADD coaching.

Dana Rayburn is an ADD Coach dedicated to helping adults outsmart their ADD / ADHD and live more successful and satisfying lives. Read more free articles about living successfully with ADD / ADHD.


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