The brain is the most precious thing we have. It is especially in the growth phase that this organ has the opportunity to develop at its best. However, experts warn that there are 6 chemicals that are potentially dangerous for children that would increase the risk of neurological disorders .
It is the first time that a large group of scientists, health professionals and experts in many disciplines and sectors (including epidemiology, toxicology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology) agree on a fundamental point: there is a link between some substances toxic chemicals and a greater risk for children of brain development damage.
Gathered together in the Tend r Project (Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks) 48 experts have published a document on Environmental Health Perspectives which reads:
“Widespread exposure to toxic chemicals found in our air, water, food, soil and consumer products can increase the risks of cognitive, behavioral or social deterioration, as well as specific neurological development disorders such as autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity (ADHD) “.
But what are the offending components? These are chemicals widely used in consumer products and which have now spread to the environment. Some are toxins to which children and pregnant women are regularly exposed and which have been found in the bodies of almost all Americans in national investigations conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These are in particular:
– Organophosphates (PO) , pesticides
– Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), used as flame retardants
– Combustion air pollutants which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide and particulates
– Lead , with primary sources in the water and paint pipes
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), industrial chemicals that are commonly used in electrical equipment and now pollute landfills and water
The team calls for immediate action to significantly reduce exposure to these toxic chemicals to protect the brain development of the little ones. As experts point out, neurological development disorders are complex diseases with multiple causes (genetic, social and environmental), what can and must be done, however, is at least to eliminate exposure to polluting agents as much as possible .
A unanimous and historic agreement by experts. As Hertz-Picciotto, co-director of the Tendr project said :
“Ten years ago this consensus would not have been possible but scientific research is now evident: toxic chemicals are damaging the development of the brain of our children. As a company we are able to eliminate or significantly reduce these toxic chemical exposures and address the inadequate regulation of the systems that have allowed their proliferation. These steps can, in turn, reduce the high rates of neurological development disorders. “
The project and the opinion of the scientists refers to what is happening in the United States, however we are convinced that our country , unfortunately not free from environmental contamination, could and should do a lot to avoid exposure to air pollutants in particular to pregnant women and children.