A plastic chemical found in consumer products, such as toys, cleaning materials, plastics, and personal care items appears to contribute to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids, say researchers.
Korean scientists have found a positive association between plastic chemical phthalates and behavioural and cognitive problems in children.
They found higher the concentration of phthalate metabolites in the urine, worse were the ADHD symptoms and/or test scores.
"These data represent the first documented association between phthalate exposure and ADHD symptoms in school-aged children," said Senior author Yun-Chul Hong, MD, PhD.
"This emerging link between phthalates and symptoms of ADHD raises the concern that accidental environmental exposure to phthalates may be contributing to behavioral and cognitive problems in children. This concern calls for more definitive research," John Krystal, MD, the Editor of Biological Psychiatry, added.
Some studies on phthalates have linked exposure to these chemicals to hormone disruptions, birth defects, asthma, and reproductive problems, while others have found no significant association between exposure and adverse effects.