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Losing Our MindsEffects of Chemical Pollution on the Intellectual Capacity and Mental Health of Future Generations$
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Barbara Demeneix

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199917518

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199917518.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 September 2021

Chemical Pollution and IQ Loss in Children

Chemical Pollution and IQ Loss in Children

Learning From the Past

(p.1) Chapter 1 Chemical Pollution and IQ Loss in Children
Losing Our Minds

Barbara Demeneix

Oxford University Press

Thyroid hormone (TH) disruption during brain development causes irreversible damage, compromising intellectual ability. The current rise in neurodevelopmental disorders cannot be accounted for by diagnostic change alone and/or genetic factors. Environmental factors must be taken into account. As numerous environmental factors interfere with TH-dependent pathways and TH signaling regulates gene expression in the brain, TH signaling forms a bridge between the environment and the gene networks controlling brain development. Two well-documented cases demonstrate how environmental contamination can reduce intellectual capacity. Early exposure to certain chemicals, notably during pregnancy, permanently reduces intellectual ability. Many children diagnosed today with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are intellectually disabled, with intelligence quotient (IQ) scores under 70. ASD, ADHD, and the permanent loss of intellectual capacity represent immense socioeconomic burdens for the individual and their family and have multiple, far-reaching, consequences for the structure of our societies.

Keywords:   mercury, PCB, IQ, pregnancy, critical developmental window, brain

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