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Inside this Issue
A 2008 study put the yearly cost of treating U.S. children with environmentally mediated diseases at $76.6 billion.
That figure might seem reductive, clearly the emotional costs of these illnesses and disorders are immeasurable, but it emphasizes the legitimacy of toxicity concerns.
While researchers have recently made great progress in searching for genetic factors for autism, the genetic responsibility for autism may only be about 30–40%. That's according to an editorial out today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The report pushes for more research on how industrial chemicals may contribute to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, mental retardation, and dyslexia. Here are the top ten compounds where the authors believe research would have the greatest and most immediate impact.
Automotive exhaust. (Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr)
Brominated flame retardants, such as flame retardants in furniture. (Photo: star athena/Flickr)
Endocrine disruptors, such as those in DDT. (Photo: B W/Flickr)
Organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxic insecticides. (Photo: eutrophication&hypoxia/Flickr)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), used as dielectric and coolant fluids until they were banned in the U.S. in the 1970s. (Photo: Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection/Flickr)
Perfluorinated compounds, which make stain-, oil-, and water-resistant materials like Teflon and Scotchgard. (Photo: Cameron Nordhold/Flickr)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, present in processed, smoked and cooked foods (Photo: Joost J. Bakker/Flickr)
Organochlorine pesticides, which are chlorine-containing pesticides. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr)
Lead, which is still widely produced in the United States. (Photo: Trevor Lowder)
Methylmercury, a mand-made pollutant stored in our food chain. (Photo: Joost J. Bakker/Flickr)
Welcome to the all new SmartPlanet
Startup wants to take you to the edge of space in a balloon
Inside the modern meatpacking plant (photos)