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List of toxic chemicals causing dyslexia, ADHD, autism, published by researchers

A list of toxic chemicals or pesticides causing children’s neurodevelopmental disabilities like autism, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia was published in a study by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as reported by Science20 on Feb. 18, 2014.

List of toxic chemicals causing dyslexia, ADHD, autism published by researchers
Harvard School of Public Health

“Last week, an article appeared in The Lancet Neurology (doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70278-3) which reviewed studies and asserted that there is a ‘pandemic’ of developmental toxicity. This led to a press release and a variety of stories in the media linking things like pesticides to brain disorders in children."

The author of the Science20 article “There Is No Pandemic Of Chemicals Causing Brain Disorders In Children” argues that the recently published article in “The Lance Neurology” is just an update to a research report already published in 2006, and that it misses one important aspect -- the amount or dosage of pesticides needed to cause developmental delays in children.

In 2006, the list of toxic chemicals said to cause dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, autism, and other developmental delays in children included the following five industrial chemicals:

  • Lead
  • Methylmercury
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Arsenic
  • Toluene

The 2014 study added the following six developmental neurotoxicants:

  • Manganese
  • Fluoride
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

In their 2014 article “Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity,” Dr Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, and co-author Philip Landrigan, Dean for Global Health at Mount Sinai, are stating that industrial chemicals are affecting the developing brain of children and that those chemicals are triggering the increasing numbers of developmental disorders.

“We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy.”

Most parents of children with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, autism, or other developmental disabilities are less interested in whether industrial toxic chemicals or pesticides are called a pandemic or not, or whether a global prevention strategy will be implemented. Most parents of children with special needs are interested in what they can do for their children right here -- and right now.

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