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On any given day, you and your child probably come in contact with dozens of products that contain phthalates. Toys, shower curtains, food containers, cleaning materials, product packaging - they all contain phthalates, which are suspected of causing numerous negative health effects.

A new study from Korean researchers has now discovered a link between exposure to phthalates and ADD in school-age children. Writing in the journal Biological Psychiatry, the team reported that children with higher concentrations of phthalate metabolites found in the urine experienced more severe ADD symptoms.

The notion that environmental triggers may make ADD symptoms worse is completely in line with what I have witnessed in my own practice. After working with thousands of children and teens with ADD, I have found that many environmental toxins impact ADD symptoms.

Another new study in the online edition of Pediatrics lends addition support to this theory. Researchers from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center found that exposure to two environmental toxins - tobacco smoke and lead - significantly increases the risk for developing ADD. The study showed that:

Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were 2.4 times as likely to have ADD.

Children with the highest levels of lead in their blood had 2.3 times the risk.
Children with both prenatal exposures to smoke and high levels of lead in childhood were 8.1 times more likely to have ADD.

The research team estimated that eliminating prenatal exposure to smoke could reduce the incidence of ADD by as much as 38 percent in children ages eight to 15. In this same age group, the incidence of ADD could be reduced by about 25 percent if there was no exposure to lead during childhood.

To Your Brain Health

L.E. Masula,DC

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