Prenatal and childhood exposure to toxic chemicals may be a significant cause of ADHD and other brain disorders.
by ADDitude Editors
ADHD and other brain disorders may be evidence of a “silent pandemic” caused by prenatal and childhood exposure to toxic industrial chemicals. So says a review article written by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston. Led by Philippe Grandjean, M.D., adjunct professor of environmental health, the researchers identified 201 toxins, including pesticides, solvents, and heavy metals. These substances are widely disseminated in our air, water, and food. Some accumulate in mother’s breast tissue, and are passed on — in highly concentrated form — to breast-feeding infants.
“Only a few substances, such as lead and mercury, are controlled with the purpose of protecting children,” said Dr. Grandjean. “The other chemicals that are known to be toxic to the human brain are not regulated to prevent adverse effects on the fetus or a small child.”
The toxins are believed to be a significant cause of autism, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation, in addition to ADHD. The article was published online at TheLancet.com.