Toxic chemicals in the environment are making children dumber by: Mary Villareal for Natural News
Every child born in the U.S. is said to be contaminated with industrial chemicals, including endocrine disruptors that affect brain development.
Brain function is often evaluated by intelligence tests, and these IQ scores have been declining since the mid-1990s. This ongoing decline is well documented in Europe, the U.S. and Australia.
While IQ measurements are not perfect, scientific studies have shown that chemical exposure negatively affects brain function among children. This is why many professionals, including numerous medical and scientific organizations, are focusing on the “soup” of chemicals children are being exposed to at an early age.
Dangers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with hormones. Newborn babies end up being pre-exposed to mixtures of over 200 of these chemicals, which include phthalates, perchlorate, fluoride, bisphenol-A (BPA ) and its substitutes, parabens, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and even heavy metals like lead and mercury.
These chemicals can be found in the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb when the brain is forming at an incredible rate with thousands of nerve cells being born per second.
Contamination does not end there. Children absorb more of these chemicals through the mother’s milk or formula; through the air that the baby breathes; and in products like creams, lotions and baby wipes.
Phthalates are chemicals included in many consumer products, such as those for personal care, processed food, food packaging materials and even medical supplies. Other studies also showed that exposure to these chemicals causes reductions in IQ.
Perchlorate is a thyroid disruptor that is usually found in rocket fuel. However, it also turns up in food packaging and even in groundwater, which can affect food products. It acts by reducing the ability of the body to use iodine, which is essential in the formation of the thyroid hormone. It affects IQ by upsetting thyroid function and producing a state of insufficiency.
Fluoride used to be added to drinking water until one of the most clear-cut demonstrations of the chemical lowering IQ was reported in Canada. A study measured the IQ of Canadian children living in different cities and found that those with fluoride in their drinking water have lower IQ scores.
“Legacy” chemicals like PCBs and DDTs have been banned in production but still remain in the environment. By interfering with the thyroid system, they also decrease IQ in children and adults who have been exposed as children.
Mercury is also known to disrupt brain development. There had been studies that showed at least 2.5 IQ points were lost in a cohort of exposed children in South Korea.