News Brief

Stain-Resistant Chemicals May Contribute to ADHD

A report published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests an association between exposure to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children ages 5 to 18.

Researchers used serum samples from residents near a chemical plant in the Mid-Ohio Valley region of West Virginia. The plant had been contaminating surface and groundwater sources with PFCs over a 50-year period before a class action lawsuit was filed in 2001 alleging health damages from contamination of drinking water. Part of the settlement included voluntary serum sampling for PFC exposure of residents in contaminated water districts. 69,030 people volunteered, representing 80% of the eligible population.

The researchers call for further research based on possible positive associations between PFCs and ADHD, writing that perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) particularly warrants further investigation. PFCs are persistent environmental pollutants common in building and consumer products such as carpet and nonstick cookware (see “Carpets with No Added Stain or Dirt Repellents?” EBN April 2011). They have been detected worldwide in both wildlife and humans.




Published December 27, 2011

Dick, E. (2011, December 27). Stain-Resistant Chemicals May Contribute to ADHD. Retrieved from

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