Environmental Toxic Chemicals

Research Highlights

Environmental toxins are all around us. We are constantly being exposed, often to many different kinds and levels of toxic chemicals. Studies show that there is NO SAFE LEVEL of exposure to environmental toxins and the impact of toxins on brain development is PERMANENT. Children who have higher exposures will never reach their potential cognitive ability.

The impact of toxins on the developing brain is usually subtle for an individual child, but the damage can be substantial at the population level. 

Research Highlights

Environmental toxins are all around us. We are constantly being exposed, often to many different kinds and levels of toxic chemicals. Studies show that there is NO SAFE LEVEL of exposure to environmental toxins and the impact of toxins on brain development is PERMANENT. Children who have higher exposures will never reach their potential cognitive ability.

The impact of toxins on the developing brain is usually subtle for an individual child, but the damage can be substantial at the population level.

Ways to Reduce and Avoid Toxic Chemicals

  1. Eat fresh or frozen foods. Choose organic, if possible.
  2. Avoid packaged foods and steer clear of heavily processed foods.
  3. If you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, eat fish with low levels of mercury.
  4. Don’t use pesticides in and around your home.
  5. Check your home for lead hazards, especially if it was built before 1960.
  6. Frequent cleaning of floors and surfaces may help reduce exposure to lead, flame retardants and other toxins in house dust.
  7. The key to reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals is to require that chemicals be tested for toxicity before they are put on the market.
  8. Advocate for policies to prevent exposures to toxic chemicals. Support efforts to ban pesticide use and smoking in your community.

To learn more about the harmful effects of environmental toxins, please view the full 6 minute video:

To learn more about the harmful effects of environmental toxins:

Further Reading/Research Articles:

The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain
by Bruce Lanphear https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031912-114413

Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity
by Philippe Grandjean: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(13)70278-3/fulltext

"Toxic metals like lead and mercury are found in all of us. So are persistent toxins like PCBs and endocrine disruptors like BPA and PBDEs. We've also discovered that even at extremely low levels toxins can impact brain development and have a lifelong effect on children."

— Dr. Bruce Lanphear

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