With rates of developmental disorders like autism and ADHD skyrocketing, science is keen to pinpoint the cause. In an article published in The Lancet, researchers suggest that toxins are affecting developing brains, "silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviours, truncating future achievements and damaging societies.”
Children and babies, even fetuses, are more vulnerable to such toxins than adults as their brains are still developing.
According to an article in the Toronto Star, current regulations protecting consumers from chemical exposure on clothes, toys and furniture are grossly inadequate. Researchers are therefore putting pressure on manufacturers to prove their products are safe before they are allowed in the marketplace.
Among harmful neurotoxicants are lead and methyl mercury, though researchers claim many others have yet to be identified.
If we fail to act now now, said Dr. Philippe Grandjean, the study's co-author, who teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health, “we are endangering the brains of the future.”
Clearly this area deserves more probing—for everyone's health and wellbeing.
“This is not about avoiding a specific disorder. This is about promoting brain health," said Evdokia Anagnostou, a clinician scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre and a principal investigator with the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network.
What do you think of this research?
Other research relating to autism.