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Daily News Archive
From January 29, 2001

Child Health Agencies Urge Testing to Protect Early Brain Development from Toxins

According to the Learning Disabilities Association and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one out of six children are suffering from behavioral disorders. Both groups are calling for research testing to recognize, reduce and eliminate the environmental toxins scientifically linked to learning disabilities. Audrey McMahon, a spokesperson for the Learning Disabilities Research Committee, said specifically, the two groups want all regulatory agencies and Congress to institute neurotoxicity testing for pesticides, food additives and drugs to find out how these young systems are being affected.

"We're concerned that the pervasive damage isn't visible until years later, when it's reflected in a current endemic increase of learning disabilities," says McMahon. "Those affected total an estimated 12 million children (17%) in the United States under the age 18."

According to Polluting Our Future, a publication released by the Learning Disabilities Association, National Environmental Trust and Physicians for Social Responsibility, 24 billion tons of developmental and neurological toxins are released into the environment each year. But the study reported that U.S. industries reported only five percent to the Environmental Protection Agency.