There are ~3000 chemicals produced in volumes exceeding 1 million pounds per year.
Yet only about a dozen have been investigated for their effects on the developing brain.
A developing brain is vulnerable to permanent impairment.
Currently 1 in 6 children have some kind of neurodevelopmental disability.
The fetal brain grows into a complex organ consisting of billions of precisely located, highly interconnected and specialized cells.
This growth occurs within a tightly controlled time frame.
Each developmental stage has to be reached on schedule and in the correct sequence.
Interference by toxics at any stage can have permanent consequences.
This article by Environmental Health Perspectives provides a helpful introduction into neurodevelopment and what can cause it to go wrong.
A cancer's origin can be rooted in toxicants passed on by a parent, or even a grandparent.
Miniscule exposure to endocrine disruptors (hormone-like synthetic chemicals) early in life can have severe effects later in adulthood.
The original exposure can continue to have detrimental effects in future generations as well.
Exposure to environmentally low levels of these endocrine disruptors may not be immediately life-threatening.
They can be just enough to alter genetic expression in a way that manifests more harmfully later in life.
A gene might be altered (mutagenesis), but the epigenome — the 'program' run by the gene — might be altered.
In the U.S., if a chemical is found to be mutagenic it has a good chance of being banned.
Currently there is no standard for regulating chemicals that cause epigenetic mutations.
The doses causing harm are so small, they can be passed from mother to daughter via placenta and breast milk for generations...
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) linger inside the human body for decades.
These include chemicals such as
POPs increase the risk of diabetes, cancers, birth defects, and disabilities.
It appears that these chemicals disrupt genes involved with glucose regulation.
A single POP by itself increases the likelihood of diabetes by 3x to 5x.
In combination the incidence of diabetes increases by 38x.
Here is an audio stream from Living on Earth discussing the relationship between toxics and diabetes (6 minutes 40 seconds).
Toxics have an affinity for fat.
Evidence is mounting that toxics, not calories, are the primary cause of obesity.
The body increases fat production as a way to store toxicants away from other parts of the body.
Three studies — one in the San Francisco Bay Area and two in Texas — show a correlation between airborne pollutants and the rate of autism.
For every 1000 pounds of mercury emitted from Texas smokestacks there is a 61% increase in that state's Autism rate.
See who's polluting in your neighborhood.
See maps depicting global toxic emissions in certain years.
Another set of maps for mercury can be found here.
See the EPA's latest reports on Air Quality Monitoring Information.
These four studies link 7 insecticides and 1 herbicide to breast cancer.
Six of the insecticides are banned by the EPA (lindane only recently).
Malathion is still widely used.
The herbicide 2,4-D is still used in lawn products and agriculture.
Glutathione is the body's #1 molecule for detoxification.
Coping with toxic burden spends glutathione faster than it can be replaced.
Glutathione deficiency leads to mitochondrial failure and brain damage.
Ibuprofen reduces the body's production of glutathione (here and here). Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Paracetamol) depletes it.
Here you can find compelling information about these 'people pollutants'
This video is remarkable.
It is an episode of the Phil Donahue show with special guest Dr. Doris Rapp.
The year was 1989.
It demonstrates very clearly the connection between environmental triggers and abnormal behavior.
The show looks at children and adults.