Two scientists have proposed stricter rule to regulate industrial chemicals that they say are responsible for increased developmental disabilities detected in children.
Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence.
In the Lancet Neurology journal, Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and Dr. Philip Landrigan of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York said they in 2006 identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants—manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers, the authors say.
Stricter rules are in force in the European Union, with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Similar restrictions are being urged worldwide. US chemical reporting ruled have been called flawed in a government report.