Which Toxins Could Be Lurking in ADD/ADHD Bodies?
A year ago, I agreed to participate in that national study, conducted by the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, which tracked levels of environmental toxins in “normal” individuals. Blood and urine samples were taken to look for the presence of specific synthetic chemicals and heavy metals. Prior to receiving the results, I thought that those who lived near a toxic waste dump or in housing with lead-based paint were the only ones affected by toxins. I was wrong.
You don’t have to live next to a toxic waste site to be exposed to brain-damaging chemicals. For example:
*Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) are used to prevent food and other substances from sticking to carpets, drapes, and cooking pans. Teflon and Scotchgard are examples.
*Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), used as fire retardants, are found in clothing and furniture, as well as bedding.
*Triclosan is an antibacterial agent found in soaps, toothpastes, and many other personal-care products.
*Bisphenol A (BPA) is an epoxy resin used to line food cans and other containers. It is also used to make plastic containers, like baby bottles, and certain paper products.
*Phthalates make rubber-based materials soft and pliable. They are found in vinyl, plastic bottles, toys, shower curtains, and raincoats. They are also used to make personal-care products, air fresheners, and shampoos.
The Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative tested for 89 toxins, and they found 61 in several of the participants. Everyone, including me, tested positive for at least 26 of the chemicals. I had above-acceptable levels of PBDEs (found in flame retardants) and triclosan (in soaps and other personal-care products). I was high in organic pesticides, thanks to the chemicals sprayed on my lawn, and in PFCs -- chemicals that discourage eggs from sticking to my frying pan.