A new report suggests exposure to a particular class of pesticides is associated with an increased risk of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, the investigation found a connection between exposure to pesticides and the presence of symptoms of ADHD.

Scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University discovered the association after a study of 1,139 children from the general U.S. population.

The authors conclude that exposure to organophosphate pesticides, at levels common among U.S. children, may contribute to a diagnosis of ADHD.

“Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals,” says lead author Maryse F. Bouchard of the University of Montreal.

“Our study found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to ADHD behaviors, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.”

Source: University of Montreal