Thursday, June 10, 2010

Toxic America Just Scratches the Surface on Toxicity and NeuroDevelopmental Problems

Structure of polybrominated biphenylsPDBE Image via Wikipedia
Sanjay Gupta's series on  Toxic America only begins to touch on issues that the Europeans have been working on in regards to the interplay between the environment and neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism, ADHD, and other developmental delays.

SCALE Report by the European Union's draft baseline report gives a good outline of the issues surrounding the impact of environmental toxins on neurodevelopmental disorders.  I find a report like this to be very helpful in starting to sort out the annecdotal information.  It lists a series of chemicals including heavy metals and ingredients found in pesticides and lays out the toxicity study and gaps in knowledge and points out the direction for future research.


If you contrast the work done in Europe on RoHS and REACH, their environmental standards are higher than ours here in the US.  When you look at the work done in Europe with RoHS and REACH standards,

RoHS regulates large household products (e.g., washing machines, microwaves); small household products (e.g., vacuum cleaners, toasters); IT and telecommunications equipment (e.g., laptop computers, mobile phones); consumer equipment (e.g., video cameras); electrical and electronic tools (e.g., drills); and toys, leisure, and sports equipment (e.g., electric trains, video games) (RoHS website, accessed April 23, 2007).Specifically, RoHS limits six contaminants that can occur in electronic and electrical goods:
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

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