Theory About ADD/ADHD

Simply put ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) shows up as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. These activities occur consistently and over a period of time. Remember, I said that was the simple explanation. It seems diagnosis is not so hard – the difficulty often comes in determining where it came from – what the original cause could be.

We know that lead poisoning is associated with ADHD as is the use of cigarettes and alcohol by the mother while pregnant. (see nimh.nih.gov) Attention disorders often run in families as well. The CDC did a study that determined the rate of ADHD in children under 12 was remaining steady, but rising in children over 12. 

I have a theory to propose. What if one of the causes was exposure to everyday chemicals you use in your home?

Dr. Joyce Woods wrote an article entitled Know Your ABC’s. About the Author– Dr. Joyce Woods worked as a medical/surgical nurse, public health nurse, nurse educator, nursing school administrator, occupational health consultant. She holds Bachelors of Nursing, Bachelors of Arts (Specialist), Masters of Education degrees, and has completed her doctoral degree in the area of Indoor Air Pollution, and …it’s effect on your health.

Begin by thinking of your home as a toxic waste dump. The average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals – more than a chemistry lab at the turn of the century. More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced since WW II. Less than 2% of synthetic chemicals have been tested for toxicity, mutagenic and carcinogenic effects, or birth defects. The majority of chemicals have never been tested for long-term effects.

Let’s talk about a few of the letters in the Alphabet that Dr. Woods refers to..

a. An EPA survey concluded that indoor air was 3 to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air.

c. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reports that houses today are so energy efficient that “out-gassing” of chemicals has no where to go, so it builds up inside the home.

d. We spend 90% of our time indoors, and 65% of that time at home. Moms, infants and the elderly spend 90% of their time in the home.

i. There has been a call from the U.S./Canadian Commission to ban bleach in North America. Bleach is being linked to the rising rates of breast cancer in women, reproductive problems in men and learning and behavioral problems in children.

j. Chemicals get into our body through inhalation, ingestion and absorption. We breathe 10 to 20 thousand liters of air per day.

m. ADD/ADHD are epidemic in schools today. Behavioral problems have long been linked to exposure to toxic chemicals and molds.

p. Formaldehyde, phenol, benzene, toluene, xylene are found in common household cleaners, cosmetics, beverages, fabrics and cigarette smoke. These chemicals are cancer causing and toxic to the immune system.

q. Chemicals are attracted to, and stored in fatty tissue. The brain is a prime target for these destructive organics because of its high fat content and very rich blood supply.

Greencleancertified.com brings to light some great information about how household cleaning products may be doing more harm than good. Here is a short excerpt from their site:

Another harmful ingredient to watch out for is monoethanolamine, also known as MEA. Other synonyms for this chemical are Ethanolamine; Ethanol, 2-amino-; 2-Aminoethanol; 2-Hydroxyethanamine.

This chemical is a surfactant and an emulsifier and can be found in nearly 50 household cleaning products including floor cleaners, tile and grout cleaners, degreasers, stainless steel cleaners and laundry detergents. Additionally, this APE is found in 100 personal care products listed in the Household Products Database, especially consumer hair coloring products. MEA is also an antihistamine found in several popular over the counter drugs, the sedating powers of which are stronger than many barbiturates. As a cleansing ingredient, MEA is highly corrosive to the skin, potentially even causing bleeding to the exposed area. Inhalation may cause asthma attacks or damage the respiratory tract or lungs. MEA is potentially a neurotoxin. Repeated exposure to MEA can damage the liver and kidneys and has proven toxic in animal lab tests. One leading global chemical company admits the body of available research is insufficient to fully determine the health risks for humans.

I freely admit I work for a green company and we have non-caustic products that are safe for your home and family. One of the reasons I chose to work for them was because of my grandson. He has ADD, suspected by his teacher and diagnosed by his doctor. At the age of 6 they put him on Ritalin and my loving, happy, active grandson became a zombie. He lost a lot of weight and had no desire to do much of anything. At the time, we lived in a small town in North Carolina with a big yard and neighbors with kids. It was killing his parents to have him on these drugs – yet, the school insisted he needed the drugs. In July, right before his 7th birthday A.J. Came to spend the summer with us. I told his mom to send his meds, but I would probably not be giving them to him. She was relieved!

We had eliminated all the toxins in our home that we could, and were using all of the natural, non-caustic products my company offers. The first week A.J. Was with us, was interesting. He bounced off the walls. But the next week and the rest of the summer, he was a happy, healthy, active almost 7 year old. He slept all night, played quietly when asked to, enjoyed the outdoors, got into no fights with neighbor kids and was a joy to be around*.

We contribute it to the lack of exposure to toxic chemicals in our home. Now, I’m not a doctor, paid researcher or chemical specialist. I am a mother, grandmother and a woman who is living a healthier life. We need to take responsibility for our lives – and not rely on others to do what we can do. I can have a healthier home – and so can you.   

You can find more information here.  

Photo by Oslo in Summertime on www.flickr.com 

*It’s important to note that my grandson follows a specific diet, sees a doctor regularly and if under stress will have a few ‘outbreaks’ of his ADD.  With proper elimination of toxins in his environment, a great diet and lots of attention – he’s a different child!  We all firmly believe we are doing the right thing.  

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