WebMD on Friday cited a study in Environmental Health Perspective claiming that prenatal exposure to a class of pesticides known as organophosphates may increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, especially boys. Researchers of a related study published in the same journal say that children with lower levels of paraoxonase 1 (PON1) — an enzyme that breaks down organophosphates — are more likely to develop neurological developmental delays compared to children with higher levels of PON1.
In order to reduce exposure to these pesticides, study researcher Amy Marks, a research analyst at the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Public Health, advises parents and parents-to-be to “wash their produce thoroughly.”
ACSH's Jeff Stier was also quoted in the WebMD article, and although he agrees with Ms. Marks’ recommendation, he doesn’t agree with the reasoning:
“It is interesting,” ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan observes, “that so many studies purportedly linking environmental chemicals with morbidity are published in the same journal: Environmental Health Perspectives. What do you think are the odds of this journal publishing an article showing no relationship between chemicals and ill health?”