The Everyday Toxins that Harm Our Brains

Toxic chemicals affect developing brains much more severely than they do adult brains, and researchers now recognize that the months spent in the womb are the most crucial time for brain development.

What's the Latest?


A silent pandemic of toxins is currently damaging the brains of America's children in utero, say professional health and neuroscience experts from Harvard University and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan. "The experts named 12 chemicals—substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing—that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified." The greatest concern, say the researchers, lies in what we're exposed to and don't yet know to be toxic.

What's the Big Idea?

Toxic chemicals affect developing brains much more severely than they do adult brains, and researchers now recognize that the months spent in the womb are the most crucial time for brain development. In other words, damage done during pregnancy can be especially harmful. "During these sensitive life stages," the authors of a new study write, exposure "can cause permanent brain injury at low levels that would have little or no adverse effect in an adult." By eating organic food, mothers reduce the risk of exposing the fetus to toxic chemicals by 80 to 90 percent. 

Read more at the Atlantic

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