New York: Scientists and experts from various fields have for the first time come together to support a link between exposures to toxic chemicals in air, water, food and everyday products and children’s risks for neuro-developmental disorders. Project TENDR, which stands for “Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks,” is an alliance of 48 of the top scientists, health professionals and health advocates from the US.
In a consensus statement published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the alliance called for immediate action to significantly reduce exposures to toxic chemicals and protect brain development now and for generations to come. The chemicals and pollutants highlighted in the statement as contributing to children’s learning, intellectual and behavioral impairments include Organophosphate (OP) pesticides, Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used as flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, Mercury and Lead.
“Ten years ago, this consensus wouldn’t have been possible, but the scientific research is now abundantly clear: toxic chemicals are harming our children’s brain development,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, co-director of project TENDR. “This national problem is so pressing that the TENDR scientists and health professionals will continue their collaboration to develop and issue recommendations aimed at significantly reducing exposures to toxic chemicals that are harming children’s brain development,” said Maureen Swanson, leader of the Healthy Children Project of the Learning Disabilities Association of America.
Neurodevelopmental disorders include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning and other disabilities.