Some toxins, such as pesticides, affect the nervous system, and there is thought to
be a link between exposure to them and increases in learning and developmental
disabilities such as autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and other chronic
conditions and diseases. It is not clear if there are real increases in learning
problems among children in recent years, or just better recognition and diagnosis,
but currently, about one in six U.S. children under the age of 18 have some kind of
learning, developmental, or behavioral disorder.
The developing fetus and young children are particularly vulnerable to certain environmental
toxins because critical neurodevelopmental processes occur in the human
central nervous system during fetal development and in the first three years
of life. Protection of infants and children from exposure to environmental toxins
is very difficult because they may enter a child’s body across the placenta during
fetal development or by direct ingestion of house dust, soil, breast milk, and other
dietary sources during early childhood. Increased knowledge of the toxicity of
environmental chemicals, including testing for developmental neurotoxicity and
reproductive toxicity, is needed.
Animal experiments make it clear that pesticides
have the potential to cause serious damage to a developing fetus. For pesticides
intended for use on food crops, regulations require only that developmental neurotoxicity
testing be evaluated for substances already known or suspected of being
toxins. Even though more than 140 registered pesticides are neurotoxic (i.e., specifically designed to act against pests by interfering with neurotransmitters or other
processes shared by mammals and insects), the EPA has received developmental
neurotoxicity testing results for fewer than a dozen pesticides.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.