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<a href="" target="_blank"></a><br><br><i>November 8, 2006 — An online review article published November 8 in the Lancet says environmental exposure to toxic chemicals in utero and in the early stages of life may be creating a "silent pandemic" of neurodevelopmental disorders.<br><br>
The article cites 5 industrial chemicals, including lead, methylmercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), solvents, and pesticides, that are recognized causes of neurodevelopmental disorders.<br><br>
Exposure to these chemicals during early fetal development can cause brain injury at doses much lower than those affecting adults.<br><br>
Recent research into lead neurotoxicity has shown that even very low exposures cause large functional decrements in children. Similarly, low prenatal exposure to methylmercury has been shown to have a significant impact, with 1 New Zealand study demonstrating a 3-point decrement in IQ and changes in affect in babies born to women with mercury concentrations in hair of greater than 6 µg/g, they write.<br><br>
But these "proven" brain-damaging chemicals may just be the tip of a potentially huge neurotoxic iceberg, Drs. Grandjean and Landrigan write.<br><br>
According to the authors, there are an additional 200 chemicals that are known to cause clinical neurotoxic effects in adults. In addition, despite an absence of systematic testing, many other chemicals have been shown to have neurotoxic effects in animals.</i>
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