During pregnancy and infancy, environmental chemicals have a stronger influence on the human body than at any other time. What does that mean for brain development? What is the link to environmental, social, and economic inequality?
Toxic environmental chemicals have been in the European public eye for decades. Think of Chernobyl, the clean-up of asbestos, or before that, the industrial revolution: biology textbooks still use the example of peppered moths in England which changed colour from light to dark during the 19th century, as pollution from burning coal in cities darkened their environment.
Researchers have uncovered important links between our health and what we are exposed to in our environments, such as air pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, and hazardous waste. A critical factor is at what age these exposures take place. Pregnancy and the first years of life are the most sensitive for exposure to toxic chemicals.
To read this article in full, go to: http://eurohealthnet-magazine.eu/europes-environmental-pollution-childrens-brain-development/