We’d all like to think we’re safe from harmful pesticides as long as we wash our fruits and veggies really well, but a recent study featured in the journal Pediatrics brings to light just how harmful pesticide exposure can be…especially for our kids.

Funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study revealed that children exposed to organophosphate pesticides—the most commonly used pesticides in agriculture—are more likely to develop attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). More than 1,000 U.S. kids ages 8 to 15 were tested for levels of an organophosphate metabolite (breakdown product) in their urine, and results showed that those with higher concentrations were twice as likely to meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. 

Similarly, previous studies have found that children who were exposed to higher blood concentrations of organophosphates in the womb were more likely to have poor mental and motor development by ages two and three, and that postnatal exposure to organophosphates was associated with memory difficulties and problems with attention, motor tasks, behavior and reaction time. 

Because organophosphates are used on most conventionally grown fruits and vegetables, children especially are at risk due to their age, size and developing bodies, so taking steps to reduce their exposure is one of the most important things parents (including expectant moms) can do today to ensure the health of their little ones.

My advice? Opt for organic foods as often as possible, especially when it comes to the top 12 most contaminated foods, otherwise known as the “Dirty Dozen”. Regular total-body cleansing and specialized liver and kidney detox programs are also helpful for supporting the vital organs and organ systems that help eliminate harmful toxins from the body (also called the Seven Channels of Elimination): the liver, lungs, lymphatic system, kidneys, skin, blood and bowel, or colon.

Again, I’m glad to see this kind of information making into the hands of mainstream medicine. It means people are finally starting to open their eyes about the dangers of our highly toxic modern world, and it sure is a refreshing change!