More Chemicals Linked to Child Brain Disorders

By: Sean Patterson - February 17, 2014

A new study out of Harvard has identified six new chemicals that may be related to spikes in brain disorders in children. Researchers are concerned that toxic chemicals may be part of the rise in autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia diagnoses over the past few decades.

The study, published this weekend in the journal Lancet Neurology, has labeled new chemicals a “developmental neurotoxicants” that can cause brain defects in children. The newly labeled chemicals include manganese, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), tetrachloroethylene, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and fluoride. According to the study, Manganese is possibly linked to “diminished intellectual function and impaired motor skills,” tetrachloroethylene is possibly a cause of “hyperactivity and aggressive behavior,” and DDT and chlorpyrifos could be related to “cognitive delays.”

These chemicals join five other chemicals that researchers found to be developmental neurotoxicants back in a 2006 study. Those chemicals include lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.

“The greatest concern is the large numbers of children who are affected by toxic damage to brain development in the absence of a formal diagnosis,” said Dr. Philippe Grandjean, lead author of the study and a professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health. “They suffer reduced attention span, delayed development, and poor school performance. Industrial chemicals are now emerging as likely causes.”

Grandjean and his colleagues believe that these chemicals and possibly more may be having a negative effect on the brains of children, thereby damaging society as a whole. He and his co-authors are calling for expanded testing for industrial chemicals, as well as international laws that can help curb the use of such products.

Sean Patterson

About the Author

Sean PattersonSean is a staff writer for WebProNews. Follow Sean on Google+: +Sean Patterson and Twitter: @St_Patt

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  • Stephen Cabral

    I attended a seminar at the Manchester, NH public library back in the 90’s when the City of Manchester was proposing a vote on fluoride being added into the water supply to help tooth decay.

    There was a former scientist from the EPA talking about the harm that fluoride would pose in the drinking water.
    He first told us how they make fluoride, it’s a by-product of fertilizers. A product that the EPA had placed restrictions as a hazardous waste.
    So by deluting it in the water supply these companies were able to sell it as a product that would help us out by fighting tooth decay! At this tiime and even today dentists have a procedure to coat teeth with fluodide. When it is in drinking water, it passes over your teeth going directly into the person’s system.
    There have been numerous studies on fluoride since 1999 and they knew back then that this chemical can produce harmful effects on children. By enlisting the dental “proffessionals” to back these Fluoride companies, they have sold us all a bill of bad information for the” All Mighty Buck” because the cost of Safely dealing with this hazardous waste product would have been too costly.
    The ironic part of all of this situation, we are paying these fertilizer companies for the fluoride to POISON OURSELVES! Who knows how they are controlling the amount of fluoride being processed daily into the water supply systems around the country and how many times there has been issuses with how much they are adding to the supply?
    Now it is showing up in this Harvard study as a small footnote in the above article not really specifying the effects of the fluoride.Trust these companies, I don’t think so!

  • Ron Eheman

    looks like fluorides days are numbered – not to mention that the Fluorosilicic acid can contain lead and arsenic AND the ADA wants

  • Ron Eheman

    AND the ADA wants you to givebabies fluoride toothpaste

  • grichey

    I am 64, my teeth were full of fillings by age 16. My 16 yrear old son has no fillings. I wish the article had said more about what specific hazards are linked to fluoride. The dose makes the poison so it is also important to know what concentration toxicolocgists think is important to avoid. It has been long known that fluoride affects bone at high concentrations but saves teeht at low concentrations. It is foolish to dismiss a compound that might be helpful out of unspecific fear. I would bet that fluoride wont be gone soon.

    • Pisco

      You may have had an enterprising dentist, like me, I remember not going back for him to finish filling my mouth and the top row of teeth today still have not cavities. Go figure. I wouldn’t draw any conclusions that fluoride is what is the saving factor, I think the lack of daily brushing and flossing and a poor diet are the main culprits to tooth decay.