Do Pesticides Affect Your Mental Health and Development?

Do pesticides affect your mental health and development? The answer is yes.  Research continues to investigate how pesticides (organophosphates) affect humans.  A recent article in Psychology Today reviews some of the research around physical and mental health, and cognitive concerns that arise from the exposure to pesticides.  Although the FDA continues to say that low exposure to certain pesticides are safe to humans, researchers are discovering that low levels of exposure have an incredible impact on us.  Here are some of the statistics that might be important to know and to further research:


Montreal researcher Maryse Bouchard found that “almost everyone-96 percent of kids-had detectable levels of organophosphates in their urine.”  “Children 8 to 15 years old whose urine contained above average concentrations of organophosphate metabolites had double the odds of meeting the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.”


“Among 329 children from farm-workers families, most recently tested at age 7, researchers found a seven-point difference in IQ between those whose mothers recorded the greatest exposure (to organophosphate pesticides) and those whose mothers had the lowest.”

Brain Function

In another study of organophosphate exposure, “mothers who registered higher levels of exposure during pregnancy-in tests of cord blood or urine- have demonstrated significant deficits in perception and memory compared with those whose mothers tested relatively pesticide-free.”

Parkinson’s Disease

“A 2009 study reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at 368 people who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the neurodegenerative condition characterized by disabling tremors, between 1998 and 2007.  All 3689 lived within 550 yards of farm fields that had been sprayed with pesticides for at least five years prior to their diagnosis.”

I would encourage parents and individuals looking to have a family to do the research to find out the affects of what we consume.  Pesticides are directly affecting mental health, physical illnesses and cognitive development.  One way to curb pesticide exposure is to buy organic produce.  If you are unable to eat all organic produce, focusing on the “Dirty Dozen” fruits and vegetables that carry the highest concentration of pesticides.  For the full article, click the link below.



Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticides and IQ in 7-Year-Old Children

Parkinson’s disease and residential exposure to maneb and paraquat from agricultural applications in the central valley of California