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What Causes ADHD? 12 Myths and Facts

Here, we separate fact from fiction about the causes of ADHD.

Credit: Corbis

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Chemical exposure

While smoking, alcohol, and pesticides may be a problem, researchers are looking at other toxins too.

For instance, Boston University School of Public Health researchers found a link between polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs)—industrial compounds widely used in products like stain-resistance coatings and food packaging—and ADHD. Phthalates—found in items like toys, food packaging, and cosmetics—have also been linked to ADHD.

But as with many factors, the evidence only points to a correlation and can't prove that these chemicals contribute to ADHD.

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