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11 Industrial Chemicals that May Require More Attention

by Shelly Connor — last modified Apr 11, 2014 01:54 PM
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Recent science is showing a growing link between certain industrial chemicals and neurological disorders in children.


In the last decade, a growing body of research has identified an increasing relationship between environmental exposure to industrial chemicals and certain developmental disorders in young children: autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia, to name three. In 2006, scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai identified five neurotoxins associated with permanent changes in the development of infants and neonates: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene—all of which can be found in or around the average household. Exposure to these chemicals has been associated with “lower school performance, delinquent behavior, neurological abnormalities, and/or reduced IQ scores.”[i]

More recently, six more industrial chemicals have been found to interrupt healthy brain functions during neural development: manganese, fluoride, chlorypyrifos, ichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. These chemicals are commonly found in solvents and household pesticides, and ultimately show up in drinking water; exposure has become a part of many everyday routines.

Adversaries to the current industrial regulatory practices argue twofold that “not enough testing of industrial chemicals and their potential effect on brain development before they are put into widespread use, and the enormous amount of proof that regulatory agencies require in order to put restrictions or limitations on chemicals” make it incredibly difficult to determine the causal relationships between chemicals and brain development.

Read more: Children Exposed to More Brain-Harming Chemicals Than Ever Before |


For more information related to industrial chemicals:


[i] Park, Alice, and Alice Park. "Children Exposed to More Brain-Harming Chemicals Than Ever Before." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.