Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pollution Putting Children At Brain Damage Risk

Is life tougher for children's health of this era? Maybe. However, we can take our part to protect them. We can begin with our own awareness about things polluting their daily life, then preparing steps to face the adversities.

Researchers write in The Lancet medical journal that children may have suffered brain damage as a result of industrial pollution. The scientists say that pollutants may be causing neurodevelopmental disorders by impairing the brain development of foetuses and babies.

Potential effects of exposure to toxic chemicals include lower IQ scores, autism, attention deficit disorder, and cerebral palsy. The researchers say that lead, methylmercury, arsenic and solvents such as ethanol and toluene are among many industrial and agricultural chemicals with latent effects to damage the brain.

Many chemicals are likely to be damaging to humans, in particular during the periods of development that begin during pregnancy and extend to adolesence. This includes flouride that could prove to be toxic in excessive quantity; as we know, flouride is a widespread additive in toothpaste and drinking water.

All those toxic substances may not generate symptoms for a number of years in human life. The combined evidence suggests that neurodevelopmental disorders caused by industrial chemicals has created a 'silent pandemic' in modern society.

As known from historical findings, toxic effects of lead identified since Roman era, but the use of lead in petrol, paints, ceramic glazes and other products continued. Children exposed to small amounts can suffer problems with concentration, memory, cognition and behaviour.

Methylmercury has been found in waters nearby plastics factories, hospitals and incinerators and can pollute freshwater fish and seafood. Studies have made a note of decrease in the IQ of children born to women who had consumed polluted seafood, as well as memory, attention and language impairments

Arsenic can be found in groundwater industrial pollution. Studies of school-age children show cognitive deficits in IQ associated with drinking arsenic-contaminated water.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (pcbs) were widely used in electrical equipment and other industries. Contaminated products can consist of cooking oil and dairy products, and exposure is related with damaged skin conditions in adults, low birthweight in babies and slow childhood development

Solvent comprises ethanol, turpentine and toluene; frequently used in dry cleaning, paint thinners, glue, detergents and perfumes. Effects on foetuses can lead to decreased IQ scores and delayed development of speech and motor function.

Listed pesticides including those that act against insects, rodents, fungi and weeds. Compared with unexposed children, children exposed directly to high levels of the chemicals have been proven to have diminished shortterm memory, hand-eye coordination, reaction times and drawing ability.

We know that those abovementioned things are part of our daily life. Perfumes, glue, paint, food, etc. So what can we do? I think we can reduce usage of those unnatural substances, then try to use natural goods and foods if possible. For instance, instead of chemical perfume, you can try natural flower oil to freshen your room. Instead of having canned fruit, you can have the fresh ones. It's so easy. It can be fun activites for children too. All we need is trying to make natural life as a habit.

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