’Little Things Matter’ Exposes Big Threat To Children’s Brains
“The evidence is really mounting that industrial chemicals have some contribution to neurodevelopment problems,” said Tracey Woodruff, director of the University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment. “And we’re seeing more kids with these problems.”
Experts agree that changes in diagnosis and surveillance contribute, but are unlikely to fully explain the large rise in such disorders. Bellinger suggested that the “first place to look” may be the chemicals that have increased in everyday life in recent decades, such as flame retardants and BPA.
Experts also agree on one big problem: We’re not really looking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for example, has only required toxicity testing for around 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals permitted for use in the U.S.
“By allowing children to be exposed to toxins or chemicals of unknown toxicity, we are unwittingly using our children in a massive experiment,” says Lanphear in the video.
While suggesting that the “ultimate solution” is to “revise how we regulate chemicals,” Lanphear offered a few suggestions for consumers navigating toxins: Eat fresh or frozen foods, choose fish low in mercury, avoid the use of pesticides in and around the home and check for lead in older homes.