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09 November 2006

Chemicals harm young brains

Exposure to hundreds of industrial chemicals could be damaging the developing brains of children worldwide and may be linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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Exposure to hundreds of industrial chemicals could be damaging the developing brains of children worldwide and may be linked to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, says a study published online Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal.

Two environmental medicine specialists from Denmark and the United States compiled a list of 201 industrial chemicals - including arsenic, benzene and phenol - that could cause irreparable damage to youngsters' developing brains, the Canadian Press reported.

The researchers also noted that many of these potentially toxic chemicals are not regulated because too little is known about their effects on human health. They said this lack of regulation is a "silent epidemic" that's putting children around the world at risk.

Governments need to immediately start placing strict controls on these chemicals, instead of waiting for years of research to determine whether the chemicals are dangerous or not.

"What we are saying is we cannot afford to wait decades because that way we will expose another generation of children to toxic chemicals that will affect their brains permanently," study lead author Philippe Grandjean, chair of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, told the CP. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Enviro health Centre
Child Centre

November 2006

 
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