In a new report, dozens of scientists, health practitioners and children's health advocates are calling for renewed attention to the growing evidence that many common and widely available chemicals endanger neurodevelopment in fetuses and children of all ages.
The chemicals that are of most concern include lead and mercury; organophosphate pesticides used in agriculture and home gardens; phthalates, found in pharmaceuticals, plastics and personal care products; flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers; and air pollutants produced by the combustion of wood and fossil fuels
"These chemicals are pervasive, not only in air and water, but in everyday consumer products that we use on our bodies and in our homes,"
"The human brain develops over a very long period of time, starting in gestation and continuing during childhood and even into early adulthood," Schantz said. "But the biggest amount of growth occurs during prenatal development.
The report criticizes current regulatory lapses that allow chemicals to be introduced into people's lives with little or no review of their effects on fetal and child health.
"We shouldn't have to wait 10 or 15 years -- allowing countless children to be exposed to it in the meantime..."