Common Chemicals Linked To ADHD

A new Boston University School of Public Health study has found a potential link between <"">polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—a neurodevelopmental disorder—in children, wrote Science Daily. PFCs are ubiquitous industrial compounds found in a wide range of consumer products.

The research, first published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, indicated that the team found “increased odds of ADHD in children with higher serum PFC levels,” quoted Science Daily.

Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers compared PFC levels in serum samples from 571 children, ages 12 to 15, said Science Daily. Parents of 48 of the children reported their children received an ADHD diagnosis. NHANES, said Science Daily, is an ongoing national survey of a sampling of the U.S. population from which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) obtains dietary and health data, explained Science Daily.

PFCs, wrote Science Daily, are extremely stable compounds with industrial and commercial uses and which are found in products including stain-resistance coatings, food packaging, and fire-fighting foams. In a 2003-2004 survey, NHANES reviewed 2,094 blood samples obtained from the U.S. population and discovered the vast majority—98 percent—tested with detectable PFC serum levels, wrote Science Daily. This is a significant issue given that PFCs can take years to be even partially eliminated once absorbed in the body, noted Science Daily.

“There’s a link between this exposure and outcome but we’re not really sure what way that goes,” said lead author Kate Hoffman, PhD, quoted Science Daily. “What we can say is children with this outcome tend to have higher levels of PFCs in their blood,” Hoffman added. Because of how PFC was measured for this study, it remains unknown if children with ADHD exhibit behaviors leading to increased PFC exposure or if increased PFC exposure or PFC serum levels lead to ADHD diagnoses, said Science Daily. The team looked at four PFCs: Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS).

We recently wrote that the consumer group The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called for a ban on artificial food dyes saying, said WebMD, that none of the food dyes approved for use in the U.S. have been proven safe. In 2007, a study conducted by the UK’s food standards agency—the British agency that most mirrors the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), discovered that nine-year-olds who drank beverages made with food dyes were likelier to become hyperactive, wrote WEAU.

In 2008, the CSPI urged the FDA to ban the dyes, citing the studies linking the dyes to behavioral effects mimicking hyperactivity in children, said WebMD. The products were not banned and, now, the CPSI is saying that animal studies have linked the dyes and related chemicals in the dyes, to cancer.

We have recently written that CNN reported that children exposed to increased levels of specific pesticides known as organophosphates are likelier to be diagnosed with ADHD versus than children who experience less exposure. Organophosphates are found in trace quantities on fruit and vegetables that are grown commercially.

This entry was posted in Health Concerns, Toxic Substances. Bookmark the permalink.

© 2005-2016 Parker Waichman LLP ®. All Rights Reserved.