Environmental Exposures & ADHD
By Natasha Klemm ND
The prevalence of ADHD diagnoses has increased by 42% in just 8 years. And while many doctors are quick to medicate, research demonstrates the increasing importance of avoiding everyday environmental exposures for the management and treatment of ADHD.
Prenatal exposure to organophosphates, a commonly used group of pesticides, has been linked with ADHD and developmental delays in children. The good news—eating organic fruits and vegetable drastically reduces exposure to these chemicals.
Lead exposure is associated with ADHD, lower IQ and conduct problems. While lead has been banned in home pipes and paint since the early 1980s, lead can still be found in inexpensive jewelry, imported toys and even chocolate.
Endocrine disruptors, such as BPA are ubiquitous, found in plastics, pesticides, furniture and cosmetics. These chemicals, which can mimic or block estrogen are not only associated with ADHD, but also obesity and infertility. To avoid exposure, use glass water bottles, eat organic food and use the EWG guide before purchasing cosmetics.
Artificial fluoridation of water, a common practice used to reduce tooth decay, has recently been linked with ADHD. Scientists are labeling it a developmental neurotoxin. Drinking fluoride-free spring water and using water faucet filters can minimize exposure.
ADHD is a serious concern for families, schools and a community at large. We must understand the role that our environment has on ADHD and take the steps necessary to reduce our and our children’s exposures.