41 million IQ points lost to neurotoxins

neurotoxinsAs a followup to the two previous posts about the efforts of the American Chemical Council to water down regulations that protect Americans against toxic chemicals, consider this: exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides have fried 41 million IQ points, i.e., have lowered the collective IQ of Americans by that much.

The research of Dr. David Bellinger, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, demonstrates that neurotoxins definitely affect the human brain adversely. He compared the IQs of children who had been exposed to these poisons in utero to those who hadn’t. Dr. Bellinger attributes a loss of 16.9 million IQ points to the exposure to organophosphates, the most commonly used pesticides.

Two other scientists,Philippe Grandjean at Harvard andPhilip Landrigan at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, found that

a “silent pandemic” of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals—substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing—that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified.

One of these, Dow Chemical’s chlorpyrifos, is a bug killer that was widely used in American households. After Dow was fined by the EPA in 1995 for concealing more than 200 reports of poisoning attributed to the pesticide, Dow removed it from household products five years later.

In the seven years between 2006 and 2013, the number of identified developmental neurotoxins doubled from six to twelve. In 2014, Grandjean and Landrigan wrote

Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, truncating future achievements and damaging societies.

Read more in the Atlantic

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