Commonly used pesticide associated with ADHD.

adhdThe Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has associated household with . The study specifically linked the syymptoms of ADHD (hyperactivity and impulsivity) to in teen and children.

The EPA has banned the most commonly occurring organo-phosphate pesticides from 2000-2001. That ban led to the increased use of pyrethroid pesticides, which are now the most commonly used pesticides for residential pest control and public health purposes as these were considered a safer choice.

The participants consisted of 687 children aged 8-15 who participated in the 2000-2001 National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES); a nationally representative sample of the population designed to collect information about health. Urine samples were analyzed to examine the level of in the 8-11 year olds and a third of the 12-15 year olds.

The findings revealed that boys with a detectable urinary 3-PBA, a biomarker of exposure to pyrethroids, were three times as likely to have ADHD compared with those without detectable 3-PBA. The symptoms of ADHD (hyperactivity and impulsivity) increased by 50 percent for every 10-fold increase in 3-PBA levels in boys.

“Our study assessed pyrethroid exposure using 3-PBA concentrations in a single urine sample,” says Dr. Froehlich. “Given that pyrethroids are non-persistent and rapidly metabolized, measurements over time would provide a more accurate assessment of typical exposure and are recommended in future studies before we can say definitively whether our results have public health ramifications.”


Melissa Wagner-Schuman, Jason R Richardson, Peggy Auinger, Joseph M Braun, Bruce P Lanphear, Jeffery N Epstein, Kimberly Yolton, Tanya E Froehlich. Association of pyrethroid with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children. Environmental Health, 2015; 14 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12940-015-0030-y

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