Searching for Environmental Factors
Make sure your doctor is aware of any environmental toxins you may have been exposed to as a child. Allergies and sensitivities to food and the environment can affect behavior in children, and exposure to toxins can cause hyperactivity, attention deficits, irritability, and learning problems.
The Link Between Toxic Culprits and ADHD
Children are more vulnerable than adults to such toxins as pesticides, gasoline fumes, herbicides, disinfectants, furniture polishes, air fresheners, and/or dust-laden homes. Research shows that mild to high lead levels, even in the absence of clinical lead poisoning, is the leading cause of toxin-induced hyperactivity. Studies show that children with even mildly elevated lead levels have attention deficits, lower IQs, and poor school performance.
Some experts believe that mercury is a neurological poison that may cause many of the symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity and poor concentration, although this is quite controversial. These experts believe that mercury amalgam dental fillings that disintegrate when children grind their teeth may release high levels of mercury into the body, and eating large amounts of cold-water fish such as tuna and salmon may also lead to mercury poisoning. Toxic levels of carbon monoxide emitted by gas heaters and other gas appliances such as fireplaces, dryers, and water heaters, can also have ADHD-like side effects in children.