A growing body of evidence is suggesting that exposure to organophosphate pesticides is a prime cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. The findings are considered plausible to many experts because the pesticides are designed to attack the nervous systems of insects. It is not surprising, then, that they should also impinge on the nervous systems of humans who are exposed to them.
Forty organophosphate pesticides are registered in the United States, with at least 73 million pounds used each year in agricultural and residential settings.
ADHD is thought to affect 3% to 7% of American children, with boys affected more heavily than girls. Many experts believe its incidence has increase sharply in recent decades, but critics attribute the increased incidence to over-diagnosis. Some attribute the increase to the greater use of pesticides.