The experts, Dr. Philippe Grandjean at the University of Southern Denmark and Dr. Philip Landrigan at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, suggested that the toxic substances that are continuously eliminated in the environment by industries might be responsible for the increasing number of mental disorders among children.
The researchers outlined in a study, published in the latest issue of "The Lancelet," that toxins affect the fetus' evolution and urged the reduction of industrial pollution.
"What prompted our study was the realization that has been growing over the past several decades that there are a small number of chemicals that we know with absolute certainty can cause brain injury if exposure occurs during the fetal life or in the first several years after birth," revealed Dr. Philip Landrigan.
After evaluating the negative effects of chemicals on the human brain, Dr. Philippe Grandjean and Dr. Philip Landrigan indicated that children are very vulnerable.
"The human brain is a precious and vulnerable organ. And because optimal brain function depends on the integrity of the organ, even limited damage may have serious consequences. Even if substantial documentation on their toxicity is available, most chemicals are not regulated to protect the developing brain. 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. Chemicals that can interfere with brain function - that are toxic to the brain - should be considered toxic also to the developing brain. We should protect developing brains from exposure to these substances. We also need to examine industrial chemicals for these kinds of effects because it is not being done systematically. The bottom line is you only get one chance to develop a brain. We have to protect children against chemical pollution because damage to a developing brain is irreversible," explained Dr. Philippe Grandjean.
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