New York, NY (July 1, 2016) – An unprecedented alliance of leading scientists, health professionals, and children’s health advocates agree for the first time that today’s scientific evidence supports a link between exposures to toxic chemicals in food, air and everyday products and children’s risks for neurodevelopmental disorders. The alliance, known as Project TENDR, is calling for immediate action to significantly reduce exposures to toxic chemicals to protect brain development for today’s and tomorrow’s children.
Neurodevelopmental disorders include intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficits, hyperactivity, and other maladaptive behaviors, and learning disabilities. Project TENDR’s consensus statement can be found here.
Prime examples of the chemicals and pollutants that are contributing to children’s learning, intellectual and behavioral impairment include:
- Organophosphate (OP) pesticides
- Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants
- Combustion-related air pollutants, which generally include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
“This is truly an historic agreement. Ten years ago, this consensus wouldn’t have been possible, but the scientific research is now abundantly clear: toxic chemicals are harming our children’s brain development,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, environmental epidemiologist at UC Davis and TENDR Co-Director. “As a society, we can eliminate or significantly lower these toxic chemical exposures and address inadequate regulatory systems that have allowed their proliferation. These steps can, in turn, reduce high rates of neurodevelopmental disorders.”
“This national problem is so pressing that the TENDR scientists and health professionals will continue their collaboration to develop and issue recommendations aimed at significantly reducing exposures to toxic chemicals that are harming children’s brain development,” says Maureen Swanson, with the Learning Disabilities Association of America and TENDR Co-Director. “Calling for further study is no longer a sufficient response to this threat.”
Read coverage of the announcement in The New York Times.