"SILENT PANDEMIC" Brain Disorders Chemical exposure

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darude, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. darude

    darude New Member

    WebMD) Exposure to industrial chemicals may be responsible for a "silent pandemic" of brain development disorders affecting millions of children worldwide, and not enough is being done to identify the risks.

    That is the contention of two researchers who have studied the effects of chemical exposures on brain development for many decades.

    In an essay published online in the journal The Lancet, the researchers identified 202 potentially harmful industrial chemicals that may be contributing to dramatic increases in autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other brain disorders among children.

    Roughly half of the chemicals are in common use, but very few have been tested to determine their impact on brain development.

    "The bottom line is you only get one chance to develop a brain," Philippe Grandjean, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, tells WebMD. "We have to protect children against chemical pollution because damage to a developing brain is irreversible."

    Tip of the Iceberg

    Grandjean and co-author Philip Landrigan, M.D., of New York's Mount Sinai School of Medicine, noted that of the industrial chemicals known to be toxic to the human brain, only five — lead, mercury, arsenic, PCBs, and toluene — have been proven to cause damage to the developing brain.

    These chemicals have been identified not because they are necessarily more dangerous than the others, but because they have been studied the most, Grandjean and Landrigan contend.

    "The few substances proven to be toxic to human neurodevelopment should be viewed as the tip of a very large iceberg," they wrote.

    Grandjean spent decades documenting the toxic effects of mercury exposure on the developing brain, and Landrigan spent decades studying the effects of lead exposure in children.

    Lead and mercury are among the few chemicals that are now strictly regulated to protect children. But regulation came long after the dangers were first recognized.

    Lead-based paint was first linked to sickness in children more than a century ago, but lead was not removed from paint and gasoline in the U.S. until the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    "Despite those early pediatric warnings, the largely unchecked use of lead in petrol, paints, ceramic glazes, and many other products through much of the twentieth century caused continued risk of lead poisoning," the researchers write.

    A Generation Exposed

    Almost all children born in industrialized countries between 1960 and 1980 were exposed to substantial amounts of lead from gasoline. The researchers write that lead exposure in this population could be responsible for a substantial reduction in average IQ scores.

    "A generation of American children was exposed to this very dangerous neurotoxin while we were doing traditional risk assessment," Grandjean tells WebMD. "We can't afford to make the same mistake again."

    Annette Kirshner, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) agrees that more expeditious ways of identifying chemical exposures that put children at risk are needed.

    The prevailing thinking among researchers studying autism and ADHD is that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in the childhood brain disorders.

    "There is still no good evidence linking any single environmental exposure to autism and ADHD," Kirshner tells WebMD. "It will probably require a global effort to understand the combination of factors that lead to these disorders."

    But Grandjean and Landrigan argue that exposure to industrial chemicals appear to have created a "silent pandemic in modern society."

    "Although these chemicals might have caused impaired brain development in millions of children worldwide, the profound effects of such a pandemic are not apparent from available health statistics," they wrote.

  2. tinktink

    tinktink New Member

    Thanks for the article.

    Best Wishes Diana
  3. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    That chemicals are a huge part of our problems now.

    Bump....

    Nancy B
  4. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I've said it zillions of times and I still believe it. It FIRST takes a Genetic PREDISPOSITION to impaired/faulty Glutathione production and THEN, SIGNIFICANT exposure to chemicals, to cause Fibro/CFIDS/MS/LUPUS/ALS, and all the crap of Autism/ADD/ADHD.

    All just different sides of a GREAT BIG ELEPHANT, brought out by CHEMICAL EXPOSURE. Anyone one with any of the above, has had a SIGNIFICANT exposure, or chronic exposure, and efforts at detoxification should become a MAJOR goal of treatment.

    That's my rant and I'm sticking to it.
  5. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    You may STILL be able to blame your Low IQ on your parents.
    Many of these nasty chemicals are passed easily through the placenta and breastmilk. So, go ahead and blame them.

    Only kidding, really. The BULK of the blame lies with the Chemical companies, which by the way, are owned/subsidiaries of Pharmaceutical companies and vise versa.
    [This Message was Edited on 11/09/2006]
  6. darude

    darude New Member

    Interesting