Exposure to pyrethroids during child development linked to ADHD symptoms

Photo credit: CIAT Photo credit: CIAT

A recent study in FASEB Journal used a number of different methods to determine if exposure to pyrethroid pesticides may result in symptoms similar to ADHD. Pregnant female laboratory mice were fed small levels of the pyrethroid pesticide deltamethrin to mimic the level of exposure that would be expected in humans. Once the babies of the exposed mice were born, their behavior was compared to mouse babies whose mothers had not been exposed to the pesticide. Mice exposed to pesticides during development before birth were more likely to exhibit behavior consistent with ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and memory and attention problems. Researchers then analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and discovered that children between the ages of six and fifteen who had elevated pyrethroid metabolites in their urine were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. The authors conclude that together these results “suggest that developmental pyrethroid exposure is a significant risk factor for ADHD.”