Chemicals are the basic building blocks that make up all living and non-living things on Earth. Many chemicals occur naturally in the environment, and may be found in our air, water, food and homes. Some chemicals are synthetic and are used in every day products from medicines to computers to fabrics and fuels. Other chemicals are not made deliberately but are by-products of chemical processes.
Natural Health News Children are at a greater risk of developing disorders like autism, ADHD and dyslexia, due to exposure to new and poorly regulated chemicals.
The study suggests that common chemicals are likely contributing to what the researchers are calling the global, silent pandemic of neurodevelopmental toxicity in children.
The reports authors, Dr Philippe Grandjean, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and Dr Philip Landrigan, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, say the number of recognised chemical causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and cerebral palsy, has doubled from six to 12 in the past seven years.
During the same time period, according to their study in the journal Lancet Neurology, the list of unregulated chemicals found in everyday items such as toys, furniture and clothing, and known to damage the human brain, has expanded …
Children may be exposed to chemicals in indoor and outdoor air, water, soil, house dust, food and consumer products, in the settings where they live, learn and play. In addition, the fetus may possibly be exposed to chemicals during pregnancy, as certain chemicals can cross the placenta. Nursing infants may also be exposed to chemicals that may be present in breast milk. The health risks associated with a specific chemical depend on the hazard (its potential to cause health effects) and the dose (the amount of chemical to which you are exposed). The timing of the exposure is also very important. For example, specific stages of pregnancy are now recognized as critical windows of susceptibility to the effects of some chemicals. For information on reducing exposures to chemicals please see the “What can I do to protect children's health?” section of this fact sheet.
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