Years of research has shown that low-level exposure to common toxic substances is putting young fetuses and young children at risk. Researchers and doctors agree that children have become exposed to many toxins.
A professor at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada has been trying to inform the public about the dangers of exposure to common toxins on children’s brain development. However, his concerns regarding exposure have been downplayed.
What Toxin Substances Are Effecting Children?
Bruce Lanphear, SFU researcher, suggests that even low amounts of the following chemicals have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing mental challenges:
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
- Organophosphates (OP) pesticides
- PBDEs (which are found in furniture and clothing)
Various Study Results
Lanphear explains that studies show a loss of about nine IQ points for the first 300 ppb (parts per billion) increase in lead found in the bloodstream, but the greatest decrease, which is about six IQ points, occurs in the first 100 ppb increase in blood-lead levels. Lanphear’s most recent study was published four months ago. It links PBDEs, a commonly used and persistent type of flame retardant, to IQ deficits and hyper activity. His study was the fifth of its kind on the impact of PBDEs, which are routinely found in pregnant women and children. All studies found that PBDEs adversely affected children’s intellectual abilities.
Leading researcher on children’s environmental health risks and professor, Dr. Eric Crighton, suggests that growing scientific evidence shows that even low doses of exposure to toxic substances during fetal and child development can leave lasting permanent effects. Erica Phipps, Executive Director of the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment, says “Developing fetuses and children are much more vulnerable to harm from toxic substances than adults. So we need to let expectant and new parents know what they can do to reduce exposure. We also need to ensure that toxic substances don’t end up in our products and environment in the first place.”