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NEW HARVARD STUDY SHOWS THAT OVER 200 INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS HAVE A DAMAGING EFFECT ON HUMAN BRAIN, AND CAN LEAD TO DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS SUCH AS AUTISM AND MENTAL RETARDATION

Thursday, December 07, 2006

  • Organization: AAMR

From the AAMR newsletter:

NEW HARVARD STUDY SHOWS THAT OVER 200 INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS HAVE A DAMAGING EFFECT ON HUMAN BRAIN, AND CAN LEAD TO DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS SUCH AS AUTISM AND MENTAL RETARDATION
After examining publicly available toxicity data on industrial chemicals most likely to damage the developing brain of a fetus or a young child, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine conclude that 202 industrial chemicals have the capacity to damage the human brain, and that chemical pollution may have harmed the brains of millions of children worldwide. "Even if substantial documentation on their toxicity is available, most chemicals are not regulated to protect the developing brain," says Dr. Philippe Grandjean, the study's lead author. "Only a few substances, such as lead and mercury, are controlled with the purpose of protecting children. The 200 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."

To read more about the public health recommendations made by the team, download a free report available at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/neurotoxicant/appendix.doc. The full article on the study, titled "Developmental Neurotoxicity of Industrial Chemicals - A Silent Pandemic," by Philippe Grandjean and Philip Landrigan is published in the November 8 online edition of The Lancet. To read a press release on the discovery, visit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/press/releases/press11072006.html

The Environmental Health Initiative (EHI) website of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities features a variety of fact sheets, reports, and presentations on the adverse effects of toxic exposures and its relationship to intellectual disabilities. The EHI Spring 2007 teleconference series (free) features specific sessions on toxic exposures on people living with an intellectual disability. Learn more at http://www.ehinitiative.org/Projects/tele_con.htm.

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