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New Study Links Mercury Exposure to ADHD

By Fredrica Syren

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is on the rise in the U.S. Today, one of every 10 children is diagnosed with ADHD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is one of the most common childhood brain disorders. The question is what causes this disorder? A new study shows that mercury exposure may be to blame.

Mercury is a heavy metal that can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption. This metal, which affects the nervous system, can be found in electrical products such as dry-cell batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, switches, and other control equipment. Mercury also can be found in some drinking water, and in fish and seafood because of leakage from factories and landfills, as well as mercury filled products being thrown into the environment.

Mercury can be severely damaging to your health. It is something that the body has no use for, at all. Most of the mercury that enters the body is stored in the kidneys. The rest is dispersed throughout the body; blood, spleen, brain, liver, bones and fatty tissues also hold mercury. It poses a threat to growing fetuses and it can get into breast milk.

A new study conducted in Canada is the first to find a high rate of attention-deficit symptoms in children highly exposed to mercury already in the womb. In the study, the moms’ hair was tested for mercury levels about 10 days after they gave birth.  After eight years, these children were tested. The result showed a 60% increase in risk for ADHD-related behaviors in the children whose moms had been exposed to mercury.

ADHD is a disorder that is usually diagnosed in childhood.  People with ADHD have differences in the parts of their brains that control attention and activity. This means that they may have a hard time focusing, and they may seem “wired,” act impulsively and get into trouble a lot. It affects how well someone can sit still, focus, and pay attention. There is currently no cure for ADHD so treatments usually include medication, various types of psychotherapy, education or training, or a combination of treatments.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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