360° Coverage : 11 Toxic Chemicals Afffecting Brain Development In Children

2 Updates

11 Toxic Chemicals Afffecting Brain Development In Children

Feb 15 2014, 12:14pm CST | by

The list of chemicals that can affect brain development in children has grown. In a study out today in The Lancet Neurology, researchers outline new chemicals that may be contributing to what they...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

28 weeks ago

11 Toxic Chemicals Afffecting Brain Development In Children

Feb 15 2014, 12:14pm CST | by

The list of chemicals that can affect brain development in children has grown. In a study out today in The Lancet Neurology, researchers outline new chemicals that may be contributing to what they dub the “global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity.” In 2006, the team had released a list of five neurotoxins that may contribute to everything from cognitive deficits to attention problems. Now that list is expanded, based on new research that has since accumulated on chemicals linked to developmental disorders in children. Today, they outline six more.

“The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis,” said study author Philippe Grandjean, of the Harvard School of Public Health. “They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes.”

Neurobehavioral problems, like autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, affect about 10-15% of kids born today, the authors say. Genes play a large role in some of these disorders – but not that large. Only about 30-40% of the cases of the disorders can be accounted for by genes alone, so environment must make up the other part. Outlining those compounds can be difficult, but the research is mounting, and pointing to a growing list of chemicals that we should avoid.

Because of the frequency with which these chemicals are present in our everyday lives – even banned ones – and the rising rates of developmental disorders in children, the authors say that urgent change should take place: “A new framework of action is needed.”

Here are the 11chemicals for which there is strong evidence of connection to neurodevelopmental disorders in children:

Lead–This is one of the most extensively researched compounds in terms of neurodevelopment, and has been consistently linked to serious deficits, including low IQ. Its effects seem to be permanent, leading to the conclusion that there is no safe level of exposure.

Methylmercury–Affecting the neurological development of the fetus,exposure often comes from maternal intake of fish containing high levels of mercury, according to the World Health Organization and the EPA.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) – This family of chemicals has routinely been associated with reduced cognitive function in infancy and childhood. It is often present in foods, particularly fish, and can be passed along in breast milk.

Arsenic – When absorbed through drinking water, this chemical has been linked to reduced cognitive function in schoolchildren. Follow-up studies from the Morinaga milk poisoning incident have linked it to neurological disease in adulthood.

Toluene – Used as a solvent, maternal exposure has been linked to brain development problems and attention deficit in the child, according to the EPA and OSHA.

Manganese – In the drinking water in Bangladesh, for example, this chemical has been linked to lower scores in math, diminished intellectual function, and ADHD.

Fluoride – Higher levels of this chemical has been connected with a 7-point decrease in IQ in children.

Chlorpyrifos and DDT (pesticides) – Linked to structural abnormalities of the brain and neurodevelopmental problems that persist up to age 7. These pesticides are banned in many parts of the world (U.S. included), but still used in many lower-income countries. They have recently been linked to Alzheimer’s disease as well.

Tetrachloroethylene (AKAperchlorethylene)– These solvents have been linked to hyperactivity and aggressive behavior, and increased risk of psychiatric diagnosis. Mothers in certain professional roles, like nurse, chemist, cleaner, hairdresser, and beautician had higher levels of exposure.

The polybrominateddiphenyl ethers – These flame retardants are banned now, but believed to be neurotoxins. Prenatal exposure has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders in the child.

Two more compounds of concern are bisphenol A (BPA), a common plastics additive, and phthalate, found in many cosmetics. BPA is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor, and, strongly suspected to affect neurodevelopment in children, it has been banned in baby bottles and sippy cups. Phthalates, which are common in personal products like nail polish and hair spray, have been routinely linked to shortened attention span and impaired social interactions in children.

The developing human brain is incredibly vulnerable to chemical exposures, both in utero and in early childhood, and these changes can be lifelong. “During these sensitive life stages,” say the authors, “chemicals can cause permanent brain injury at low levels of exposure that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult.”/>/>

The neurotoxin “pandemic” is disturbing enough that the authors strongly recommend having mandatory tests for chemicals, which many have been arguing for years. One common complaint has been that when one compound does finally become banned, another equally toxic and often untested chemical may take its place. More rigorous testing, though complicated to carry out, might address this major issue.

“The problem is international in scope,” says Grandjean,“and the solution must therefore also be international. We have the methods in place to test industrial chemicals for harmful effects on children’s brain development—now is the time to make that testing mandatory.”

Avoiding these chemicals can be difficult, because they are so prevalent, and present in food, cosmetics, receipt papers, and containers. But reading labels and avoiding certain products is a start. For more information on how to do this, please see the Environmental Working Group’s website.

Follow me @alicewalton or find me on Facebook.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
2

3 days ago

Khazanah throws MAS RM6b lifeline

Aug 29 2014 5:01pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 30, 2014 1:15 AMKHAZANAH Nasional will inject RM6 billion (SS$2.4 billion) over three years to resuscitate loss-making Malaysia Airlines (MAS) under a recovery plan that includes even an Act of Parliament. Other key moves are migrating its operations, assets and liabilities to a new company (NewCo) and slashing the workforce of 20,000 by 30 per cent ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 
Update
1

4 days ago

MAS posts loss of RM307m for Q2

Aug 28 2014 5:00pm CDT | Source: Business Times Singapore

August 29, 2014 1:13 AMMALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) registered a loss of RM307 million (S$122 million) for the second quarter to end-June, but warned of worse to come in the second half when the "full financial impact of the double tragedies of MH370 a ...
Source: Business Times Singapore   Full article at: Business Times Singapore
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Nepal, India to hold energy talks
Kathmandu, Sep 2 (IANS) Officials from Nepal and India will be meeting in New Delhi Wednesday and Thursday to hold talks on the much-touted Power Trade Agreement (PTA) between the energy-starved nations.
 
 
Kala-azar free India by 2015: Harsh Vardhan
Pat Sep 2 (IANS) Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Monday said that India aims to eliminate dreaded vector-borne disease kala-azar by 2015.
 
 
Cannabis could be as addictive as drugs
New York, Sep 2 (IANS) As more people are able to obtain and consume cannabis legally for medical and, in some states in the US, recreational use, people are less likely to perceive it as addictive or harmful. But a research study proves otherwise.
 
 
New sensor to detect tiny, individual nano-particles
Washington, Sep 2 (IANS) In a major breakthrough, a team of researchers has developed a new sensor that can detect and count nano-particles, at sizes as small as ten nano-metres, one at a time.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

David Arquette buys LA strip club
David Arquette has bought a strip club for $1.5 million. The 'Scream' star has closed a deal to purchase the famous Crazy Girls bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles. According to TMZ, Arquette has been in...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jennifer Lopez 'really hurt' by Casper Smart split
Jennifer Lopez was left ''really hurt'' over her split from Casper Smart. The 45-year-old beauty and her toyboy boyfriend, 27, went their separate ways in June following two-and-a-half years of dating and while the 'On...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Britney Spears spends $30k on dogs
Britney Spears splashed out more than $30,000 on her dogs last year. The 'Toxic' hitmaker forked out over $13,000 on a pair of pooches in 2013, a white Maltese in January and a Yorkie in July for $5,568 and $8,212...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Brad Pitt's wedding tribute to Angelina's mother
Brad Pitt paid a special tribute to Angelina Jolie's late mother on their wedding day. The 50-year-old star tied the knot to the brunette beauty in France last month and he made sure he honored his bride's mum,...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Yemeni president to replace government amid protests
Sanaa, Sep 2 (IANS) Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi Tuesday said he will replace the government and called for a national unity administration in a move to calm down the recent spate of protests, media here...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Scoreboard of England's innings against India
Birmingham, Sep 2 (IANS) Scoreboard of England's innings against India in the fourth ODI of the five-match cricket series at Edgbaston here Tuesday. England Alastair Cook c Raina b Kumar 9 Alex Hales b Kumar 6 Gary...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Saudi Arabia arrests 88 on terrorism charges
Riyadh, Sep 2 (IANS) Saudi Arabia's interior ministry has in the last few days arrested 88 people on terrorism charges in different parts of the country, media reported Tuesday. Of the total, three are Yemenis, one of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
British deputy PM questions arrest of parents' saving kid
L0ondon, Sep 2 (IANS) British deputy prime minister has come in support of a campaign which seeks to to allow the parents of cancer patient Ashya King to be reunited with their five-year-old son, a media report said...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
US drone attacks Al Shabaab leader's home in Somalia
Nairobi, Sep 2 (IANS/EFE) A US drone targeted the home of the leader of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab terrorist organisation, Ahmed Abdi Godane, in Somalia, Somali officials told the media Tuesday. According to...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Nepal, India to hold energy talks
Kathmandu, Sep 2 (IANS) Officials from Nepal and India will be meeting in New Delhi Wednesday and Thursday to hold talks on the much-touted Power Trade Agreement (PTA) between the energy-starved nations. According to...
Read more on Business Balla