ADHD and Environment Research Note
By Reader's Digest Editors
A brief digest about this topic
Recent studies are connecting the dots between ADHD and environmental toxins. In 2010, Canadian researchers reported a link between air pollution and ADHD. In 2006, American researchers who examined lead exposure's effects on children said that even low levels of exposure may impair attention in children who have a specific genetic glitch. What's more, the emotional environment that surrounds children may also affect their attention. Research shows that children with a genetic malfunction who blame themselves for their parents' marital discord are also prone to ADHD.Fast Facts:
- More research is needed before we completely understand how environmental toxins may affect ADHD.
- Because infants and toddlers spend hours close to the ground, they're heavily exposed to toxins in dust, soil, and carpets, as well as to pesticide vapors in low-lying layers of air.
- The average one-year-old eats 2 to 7 times more grapes, bananas, pears, carrots, and broccoli than an average adult, and so is exposed to more pesticides than an adult—unless they eat organic produce.
- Currently, more than 70,000 chemicals are allowed for use in this country, and little is known about their health effects on children.
- One out of four American children lives within one mile of a National Priorities List hazardous waste site.
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