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Medicine

Putting the Next Generation of Brains In Danger 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-brains dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from CNN: "The number of chemicals known to be toxic to children's developing brains has doubled over the last seven years, researchers said. Dr. Philip Landrigan at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and Dr. Philippe Grandjean from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, authors of the review published Friday in The Lancet Neurology journal say the news is so troubling they are calling for a worldwide overhaul of the regulatory process in order to protect children's brains. 'We know from clinical information on poisoned adult patients that these chemicals can enter the brain through the blood brain barrier and cause neurological symptoms,' said Grandjean. 'When this happens in children or during pregnancy, those chemicals are extremely toxic, because we now know that the developing brain is a uniquely vulnerable organ. Also, the effects are permanent.'"
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Putting the Next Generation of Brains In Danger

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:40AM (#46254279)

    The impact is not limited to loss of IQ points.

    "Beyond IQ, we're talking about behavior problems -- shortening of attention span, increased risk of ADHD," Landrigan said.

    Things that make it harder for people to do well in school and later on the job. And in extreme cases, contributes to being a poor and on the dole.

    Remember that folks when you or you hear someone bitch about the EPA and environmental regulations. We pay for it one way or another.

    Of course, industry will have their own scientists - like the cigarette industry - that will show this is "junk science" or some other critique to prevent or at the very least, slow down any sort of regulation.

    Profit and money is all that seems to matter to some people in our society.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      FTFA:

      In 2006, they published data identifying five chemicals as neurotoxicants -- substances that impact brain development and can cause a number of neurodevelopmental disabilities including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, dyslexia and other cognitive damage, they said.

      Those five are lead, methylmercury, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and toluene.

      Pregnant women are responsible for the baby they're carrying. Obviously they should not expose themselves to these elements/chemicals, or a long list of others known to be harmful. Yet how many babies are born every year to mothers who smoke, consume alcohol, use cocaine or other recreational drugs, etc, etc?

      The EPA can make regulations all day long. But the primary responsibility is and will always lie with the individual. Do not expect The Government to protect you 24/7, cradle to grave. It won't ha

      • by fractoid (1076465)
        You just listed one group of chemicals, and then called out mothers who exposed their unborn children to a different group of chemicals. Make your mind up.
        • by tomhath (637240)

          You missed the point entirely. Do not assume the government will protect you - protect yourself. Whether it's smoking or avoiding fish that contain mercury or not using toluene to remove fingernail polish, those are all known hazards and have been for years. Be aware of what's out there.

          Yes, there is a place for regulation. Lead, PCBs, mercury are all banned for good reason. That's nice but it doesn't reduce personal responsibility.

          • Do not assume the government will protect you - protect yourself.

            Supporting anti-pollution, clean food/water laws is an important part of protecting yourself from others who demonstrably lack personal responsibility.

      • by nbauman (624611) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @02:52PM (#46255379) Homepage Journal

        Pregnant women can take care of tobacco, alcohol, and cocaine themselves.

        (The numbers of women in that age group who smoke has gone down dramatically in the last generation, the women I know quit alcohol during pregnancy, and cocaine among pregnant women turned out to be exaggerated.)

        How can a pregnant woman protect herself against lead, if auto exhaust from leaded gasoline fills the air with it? Only government can do that job.

        Similarly, General Electric dumped hundreds of tons of PCBs into the Hudson River, where it's impossible to remove. Is that supposed to be the woman's responsibility and not GE's responsibility?

        Do you believe that every pregnant woman should get a degree in analytical chemistry and a home lab?

        Some things are individual responsibilities, and some things are government responsibilities. Actually, some things are corporate responsibilities, but the U.S. corporations don't accept those responsibilities so the government has to clean up after them.

        • If I dumped a bunch of lead in your back yard, wouldn't that be a crime?

          If I dumped a bunch of lead in your air, wouldn't that be pretty much the same thing?

          • If I dumped a bunch of lead in your back yard, wouldn't that be a crime?

            If I dumped a bunch of lead in your air, wouldn't that be pretty much the same thing?

            Please define "a bunch".

            At $0.95 a pound a large enough block might have me saying yes please.

            It is the nano-schoshi amounts that some crazy expensive instrument can measure
            that bothers me.

            • by nbauman (624611)

              If I dumped a bunch of lead in your back yard, wouldn't that be a crime?

              If I dumped a bunch of lead in your air, wouldn't that be pretty much the same thing?

              Please define "a bunch".

              At $0.95 a pound a large enough block might have me saying yes please.

              It is the nano-schoshi amounts that some crazy expensive instrument can measure
              that bothers me.

              Needleman found that at 10 parts per million they began to see measurable declines on IQ tests. I think that would be a bunch.

        • by blindseer (891256)

          Only government can do that job.

          You mean the same government that removed my ability to purchase inexpensive incandescent light bulbs? The government that made CFL bulbs the only replacement I can find on store shelves? CFL bulbs that contain mercury?

          I can hear it now, "but what about all the mercury from burning coal?" Well, we would not have that mercury if the government didn't make building nuclear power plants near impossible to do.

          That is just an example. An example that may not apply any more that LED lighting is becoming cheap

      • by deroby (568773)

        The problem is you don't always know. Simply look at plastic baby-bottles containing BPA.

      • by sjames (1099)

        So because a small minority of women ignore sound advice for their babies it's fine to pollute the world with harmful substances such that a woman has to make a pilgrimage to some distant land untouched by modern civilization if she wants a healthy baby?

        Have you considered the difficulty for a woman trying to avoid lead? Because of years of lax regulation it permeates the soil in many (mostly poor, naturally) neighborhoods.

        Perhaps it's best not to poison the environment in the first place.

        • The places most likely to contain lead are urban, and areas within a couple of feet of houses built before lead paint was banned. Not much farming goes on in urban areas, and that's where most of the poverty is. Historically, the problem has been babies gnawing on lead painted baseboards and cribs, etc., not their mothers. So perhaps there is some problem with poor pregnant women with lead paint chips near the side of their tumbledown shanties in rural areas, but I doubt that there are many. It's a declinin
          • by sjames (1099)

            The paint is no longer the problem. Anywhere near a busy road is permeated with lead from the gasoline. While we're no longer adding to that, there has also been no remediation or reparations. The Ethyl corporation (now NewMarket) has yet to be held responsible. The lead paint has been scraped off and sealed over for the most part, but lead from fuel is still a part of the soil and dust in the air in affected areas.

            Meanwhile, violent crime patterns in the U.S. follow unnervingly closely with the use of lead

            • by isorox (205688)

              The paint is no longer the problem. Anywhere near a busy road is permeated with lead from the gasoline.

              It was banned decades ago, aside from a tiny number of old cars.

              • by sjames (1099)

                Yes. As I indicated, unlike lead based paint, the contamination has never been remediated. It's still there poisoning children and will be until someone cleans it up.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Of course, industry will have their own scientists - like the cigarette industry - that will show this is "junk science" or some other critique to prevent or at the very least, slow down any sort of regulation.

      Well, call me cynical but... put this in contrast with kiddy-pr0n and then ask yourself a question "Which anatomical parts of a kid the society seems to value and protect more?"

  • On your mark. Get set. CLUTCH YOUR PEARLS!
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:44AM (#46254307)
    Glancing through the article, there don't seem to be any new dangers to children. There seem to be more things that are _known_ to be dangerous, but these things obviously were dangerous even when we didn't know they were. So no need to panic.
    • There's a gaping hole in the side of our cruise ship, but no need to panic folks, it's been there since we left port so this is nothing new, just new to us!

      • It does dramatically change things, assuming that the concentrations of these chemicals are roughly the same. The headline suggests an active change has occurred, while the actually story is that we now know of more chemicals that are potentially harmful. There's a big difference between an increase in brain damage and a chance to reduce brain damage.
    • by reboot246 (623534)
      Well, it's nice to see CNN finally catching up. Most news outlets I listen to have been telling us about these dangerous chemicals for years.
    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday February 15, 2014 @11:37AM (#46254561) Homepage Journal

      Indeed. The worst of them have/had been in use for a century or more. Paint and gasoline used to have lead. I remember reading about a mushroom hunter who had gotten sick after eating some wild mushrooms she'd found on the side of the road. They weren't a toxic species; she'd gotten lead poisoning from gasoline fumes the fungi had absorbed. Kids were rendered mentally retarded from eating paint chips. Thermometers contained mercury, and when one broke us kids would play with the amazing metal. Yet at one point in school my IQ was measured at 150 (I'm sure I'm a lot dumber now, I've been exposed to toxins all my life).

      The biggest danger to children's brains is women drinking while pregnant. I've seen it all too many times in my six decades, it's incredibly sad. Other, more dangerous dangers are blows to the head, and mental and physical abuse.

      Rather than the sky falling, it's continually improving; most of the substances listed have already either been banned, or their use curtailed voluntarily. From TFA:

      The American Chemistry Council, meanwhile, called the review a "rehash" of the authors' first review.

      "This iteration is as highly flawed as the first, as once again the authors ignore the fundamental scientific principles of exposure and potency," said council spokesman Scott Jensen.

      "What is most concerning is that the authors focus largely on chemicals and heavy metals that are well understood to be inappropriate for children's exposure, are highly regulated and/or are restricted or being phased out. They then extrapolate that similar conclusions should be applied to chemicals that are more widely used in consumer products without evidence to support their claims. Such assertions do nothing to advance true scientific understanding and only create confusion and alarm."

      • Kids were rendered mentally retarded from eating paint chips.

        That sounds like one of them correlation/causation thingies...

      • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @02:24PM (#46255287)

        The biggest danger to children's brains is women drinking while pregnant. I've seen it all too many times in my six decades, it's incredibly sad.

        While it is true that heavy drinking is a severe danger to kids' brains during pregnancy, this has only really been established for alcoholic-level abuse. A few years ago, when my wife was pregnant, I spent a significant amount of time reading hundreds of articles on all the supposed pregnancy dangers, and, to my knowledge, there's not a single case of fetal alcohol syndrome/spectrum disorders or malformed infants that has been reported in numerous studies (involving hundreds of thousands of pregnancies) for alcohol consumption less than about 10-14 drinks per week during pregnancy.

        Most studies that claim effects for "any" alcohol consumption don't bother to differentiate light/moderate/heavy drinkers. For the few that do, only a handful have shown any significant cognitive differences for light or moderate drinking vs. women who abstain completely. And of those studies that show statistical differences among these groups, they tend to be small effects. And roughly half of those studies show some sort of minor cognitive benefit to light drinking compared to abstaining completely.

        After reviewing the literature, I frankly don't believe that alcohol actually has a benefit (even a small one) on developing brains, but I do know there are other studies showing that mother's stress levels and other things can have significant effects during pregnancy. So, for some women, if they have an occasional drink, it may be enough of a benefit to the mother's feeling of well-being overall that it may also help fetal development.

        The point is -- being an alcoholic or drinking heavily during pregnancy is indeed a sad and terrible thing. But all the pressure we put on mothers now to abstain from ALL alcohol and soft cheeses and caffeine and cold cuts and whatever else can also have negative repercussions on fetuses in terms of stress and general happiness for mothers. (Plus, many of the risks are much less than doctors tend to imply -- in many cases, you're much, much more likely to be hit by a bus or even struck by lightning than to cause harm to your baby by eating some of the "banned" items.)

        Other, more dangerous dangers are blows to the head, and mental and physical abuse.

        Absolutely. Physical abuse is a problem. But other big risks for kids under 18 are car accidents, accidental drowning (swimming pools, in particular), suffocation, and fire. Head injuries playing football and such are also a serious concern for older kids. The common worries like guns, drinking poison, etc. are much less of a concern than your swimming pool or safety during your daily commute.

      • by nbauman (624611)

        From TFA:

        The American Chemistry Council, meanwhile, called the review a "rehash" of the authors' first review.

        "This iteration is as highly flawed as the first, as once again the authors ignore the fundamental scientific principles of exposure and potency," said council spokesman Scott Jensen.

        "What is most concerning is that the authors focus largely on chemicals and heavy metals that are well understood to be inappropriate for children's exposure, are highly regulated and/or are restricted or being phased out. They then extrapolate that similar conclusions should be applied to chemicals that are more widely used in consumer products without evidence to support their claims. Such assertions do nothing to advance true scientific understanding and only create confusion and alarm."

        Well, what do you expect the American Chemistry Council to say? They're the industry group of chemical manufacturers that lobbies against environmental regulations. (Unlike the American Chemical Society which includes academic chemists and publishes journals like Environemental Science & Technology.)

        without evidence to support their claims.

        Who has the burden of proof?

        Do we have to prove that these compounds are dangerous, in order to get them out of the environment?

        Or do the manufacturers have to prove

        • by russotto (537200)

          Or do the manufacturers have to prove that they're safe, in order to put them into the environment in the first place?

          Well, if we adopt the precautionary principle, industrial and technological civilization ends and we all die. So I'm going to have to go with they have to be proved dangerous first.

        • Do we have to prove that these compounds are dangerous, in order to get them out of the environment?

          You have to demonstrate that there's a fair reason to suspect danger, then further tests are warranted. Every new chemical that will reach a consumer should have some testing, but to prove that it's harmless is an unreasonable restriction. There's always going to be some tradeoff between safety and other concerns.

          We could ban any use of silane, it's a very dangerous chemical. Oops, no more semiconductor ind

      • Thermometers contained mercury, and when one broke us kids would play with the amazing metal.

        Another thing about this -- exposure to elemental mercury in liquid form is really not very hazardous compared to a lot of common household chemicals. Very little is absorbed through the skin, and even ingested elemental mercury is mostly excreted without being absorbed. Playing with mercury from a broken thermometer for a little while is very unlikely to be harmful with any ventilation, and even if you were in an enclosed area and sniffed it aggressively for an hour, you'd probably absorb about as much m

      • While your IQ may have fallen, you may not have become any less intelligent. IQ is a relative measurement. That your IQ has fallen doesn't necessarily mean you've lost any mental faculties, it means you have lost a relative edge towards those around you.
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          No, I mean my problem-solving abilities have deteriorated and I'm more scatter brained than when I was young.

      • This iteration is as highly inconvenient as the first, as once again the perpetrators ignore the fundamental principles of responsibility and other people's rights. [opensecrets.org]
        Oh, and

        Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicantsâ"manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

        RTFA.

    • by nbauman (624611) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:10PM (#46254729) Homepage Journal

      Glancing through the article, there don't seem to be any new dangers to children. There seem to be more things that are _known_ to be dangerous, but these things obviously were dangerous even when we didn't know they were. So no need to panic.

      "No need to panic" is one of the stupidest phrases in the English language.

      Of course there's no need to panic. There's never a need to panic. The house is on fire? No need to panic. Your wife got shot in the head? No need to panic. The World Trade Center got hit by an airliner? No need to panic.

      "Panic" is just a word to diminish a legitimate concern for a serious potential danger that is supported by scientific evidence that is about as solid as you usually get in real life.

      Of course there are no new dangers to children. These are all old dangers, that are well-known to scientists, and have been denied by the industries that are selling these products. What's new here is that the evidence for these dangers is getting stronger and stronger, and the industry shills are looking more and more ridiculous when they try to argue that "the science is unproven" or "there's no need to panic."

      For example, Herbert Needleman first published the dangers of lead toxicity in the 1970s. There was strong evidence that lead was causing damage to children's brains that you could measure in IQ tests and correlate with their blood lead levels. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu... [nih.gov]

      At the same time, the lead industry was selling tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive, which was the best way imaginable to distribute lead into the environment in a way that nobody could escape it. They were also selling lead paints, which were a good way to target lead to children, and to painters, and to the construction workers who finally demolished the houses at the end of their cycle.

      The lead industry launched a well-funded campaign including lawsuits to discredit Needleman, which finally collapsed as the evidence for the dangers of lead grew and finally become overwhelming. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      Now we have an article in one of the top 4 medical journals (which I read every week) in which the authors (endorsed by their peer-reviewers) say basically that we told you so, the evidence for the toxicity of these 11 industrial chemicals is even stronger now, and it's reasonable to conclude that these widespread industrial chemicals are causing measurable, significant neurological damage, especially in children, just like lead was doing, and we should do something about it now, rather than let industry lobbyists run the world and continue to harm people.

      (And BTW they're talking about industrial chemicals, which are manufactured in quantities of hundreds of tons, and wind up being distributed widely in the environment, and have measurable and significant cognitive effects at parts per million. This isn't chemical phobia.)

      • by khallow (566160)
        Is there any one of those 11 chemicals which should be treated any differently than it is now, just because we know that it is somewhat more dangerous for pregnant women than it was already known to be?
        • This is not just about what pregnant women should consume/be exposed to.

          Just a couple of examples:

          BPA recently switched to a "maybe we shouldn't put it in every food and drink container"

          Fluoride [commonly added to tap water for teeth]. "The data, they said, suggests a decline on average of about seven IQ points." Maybe we should reevaluate the levels of fluoride we permit.

          This is the one of the real problems (quote from the article):
          "... I find it very irritating some of the multinational manufacturers are

          • by khallow (566160)

            I find it very irritating some of the multinational manufacturers are now marketing products in Europe and the U.S. with the same brand name and same label, but in Europe (they) are free of toxic chemicals and in the U.S. they contain toxic chemicals

            All chemicals are toxic in the right quantities and conditions. That label doesn't in itself mean anything. And just because Europe finds some application of chemicals to be "toxic" doesn't mean that I would or should find the same.

            • That is an excellent attitude, given how the US chemical industry has worked so hard to make sure you can't conclusively prove any specific chemical is causing you any specific problems.

              • Well said. I can't believe the article failed to mention the inherent dangers of dihydrogen monoxide [dhmo.org]. Arguably one of the single greatest killer of our children, but these evil chemical companies don't want us to know about it.

                What are some of the dangers associated with DHMO?

                Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrog

        • by sjames (1099)

          Yes, it means that 'optional' remediation of contaminated areas should be considered mandatory now. The cost/benefit analysis for such remediation has shifted.

          It also suggests greater liability for those who continue to let them enter the environment.

    • There seem to be more things that are _known_ to be dangerous, but these things obviously were dangerous even when we didn't know they were.

      I moderated a really controversial article once and as a result I stopped getting moderator points (as I expect did anybody else who moderated in that discussion, because I promoted comments on both sides of the issue). Since I can't mod you up, I'll just say "good point" in hopes that you get modded up some more.

      Taking your comment a step further, this is "Good news, everyone!" because when we know these chemicals are bad, we avoid them. Not all of them are regulated, but manufacturers know people care abo

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I moderated a really controversial article once and as a result I stopped getting moderator points

        your paranoia is showing

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        Mod ban - I did too and lost them for a year. But eventually they came back.
  • Studies [theguardian.com] correlate the rise of violence and aggressive behaviors with lead poisoning due to pollution.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Heavy metal toxicity will increase in the human body when selenium inadequacy is present. Dietary selenium intake in some countries like the UK is not what it should be.

      Lead pollution is far from being the only factor but is probably just the best known.

  • This has got to be the ultimate 'think of the children' post. If, indeed they could think.

    Perhaps this isn't so far fetched after all. It would explain the recent observation about the depressing number of Americans who think that Astrology is a science. And the depressing number of Americans [theatlantic.com] who aren't aware that the earth revolves around the sun.

    It's somebody elses fault.

    • It Could Be Worse [youtube.com]

    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      Hell... Given how many things either kill or children or make them grow up stupid, its a wonder the human race has managed to survive as long as it has.
  • That's how many times our brain has already been upgraded by evolution. I suspect this isn't the first time a generation or two has been sacrificed in the name of adaptation, so it's all good down the road.
  • Observer bias (Score:5, Interesting)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @11:32AM (#46254531) Journal

    Like most histrionic headlines, that first line is meant to be read as "The number of chemicals known to be toxic to children's developing brains has doubled over the last seven years," (the bold are the letters you're supposed to mentally 'land on'.

    I read it, and of course have the same reaction, initially.

    But then I look again, and read it differently: "The number of chemicals known to be toxic to children 's developing brains has doubled over the last seven years,"

    Big difference in meaning conveyed, and ultimately conclusion.

    So I read TFA (I know, crazy, and almost disqualifies me from commenting on slashdot, but I'm a rebel).

    Here's the money shot: "...In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicantsâ"manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered...."

    "DOUBLED IN ONLY 7 YEARS?" yeah, from 5 to 10, and most of those have entirely natural sources. Arsenic is bad for baby's brains? Really? And that "...there are more undiscovered"? More than 10 neurotoxologically dangerous substances in the world? PhD material, that. (In fact, here, I'll give them a few to start with: methane, ethane, propane and down the list. Most aqueous solvents. Iron. Chlorine....holy crap, the list took 7 years to double, and I just likely tripled it in 5 minutes!!)

    Look, I *agree* with the idea that there should be a register of neurotoxicity levels for commonly-used chemicals, and that it would be useful that newly-synthesized compounds are tested to determine toxicity levels for neurological development like they are for basic toxicity. Saying this, I have no idea of how complex, slow, or expensive this testing is.

    Finally, let's all remember that a lot of chemicals are intrinsic to our way of life; it's unreasonable to compare our chemical environment against a cleanroom utopia where there are somehow no external chemicals filtering into a developing child's body....that's just nonsensical. "Fear of 'dangerous' chemicals" is one of the more commonly-encountered FUD items in the news today.

    Life is a tradeoff. I prefer drinking from glass bottles, but there's no way I'd give up the convenience, safety, and economy of plastic bottled for water. I understand that burning meat leaves a host of carcinogens in the carbon, but I'm simply not going to give up delightful steak. I suspect that eventually we'll find that living in cages of shifting electrical current our whole lives likewise has an impact on us, but I'm not giving up living in a home wired for electricity.
    This all seems utterly obvious to me. I wish it was to others, so we could have a sensible discussion instead of freaking out all the time.

    • What should happen is that somebody needs to define an acceptable AND SANE level of risk that children can handle and then work on limiting risk to that level.

      1 Ensure that kids can grow up in an environment without a toxic environment ( no smoking next to kids use of nontoxic "stuff" wherever possible)

      2 Operate daycare/schools as Sanctuaries (there should be a Bunkhouse where a kid can sleep when they do not have a safe and stable home).

      3 let the kids play knowing that they could get a Boo Boo sometimes (b

    • by AtariEric (571910)
      Life is a tradeoff.

      Be that as it may, most people want to do their own choosing what to trade - with many forms of pollution, that decision is made by other people, with the victim allowed no input.
  • Previous generations have all been exposed to exactly the same crap, we just didn't know they could cause brain damage at the time. And we turned out... hmm... Ok, so maybe that does explain some stuff...
  • The structure of the corporation was developed to protect the shareholders from liability for corporate misdeeds. This, unfortunately, has led to shareholders turning a blind eye to, or even tacitly encouraging, nefarious management, just so long as it creates inflated quarterly profits. It's time to rethink this, "I know nothing," defense. When shareholders find themselves directly responsible for the activities of management, a "new world order" will finally find corporations acting responsibly.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Business ethics are taught as:

      "will the negative revenues of government fines, lawsuits and lost revenues due to bad public opinion outweigh the profits of the current malfeasance"?

      They then work to buy politicians to reduce fines, propagandize against legal recourse (tort reform) and convince people that what they are doing is best for everyone

      The system is broken and we need to stop listening to the propaganda and vote for politicians that are looking out for OUR interests

      And yes, I have an MBA

      • by HiThere (15173)

        Ah. And where do I find one of these politicians running for a state or federal office. (Locally I do find a few, but they are rare even at that level.)

        P.S.: Saying you will protect my interests and doing something else doesn't count. I can always find politicians that will do that.

        P.P.S.: I'm moderately satisfied with my Representative. I despise one of my Senators, and am not overly pleased with the other. I'm contemplating voiting, Green, Libertarian, or Socialist next time.

  • by voxelman (236068) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:20PM (#46254779)

    As the following article about biologist Michael Skinner's findings describes, the effects of toxins may not be limited to a single generation of offspring. This may be the smoking gun that explains the step rise in such diverse diseases as cancer and ADHD.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/... [smithsonianmag.com]

  • Putting the Next Generation of Brains In Danger

    Err, no, not really. Not unless someone is planning on using this list to make sure kids are specifically exposed to more of these now-identified-as-toxic chemicals.

    What this work will, in fact, do, is keep the next generation of brains safer.

    A minor quibble, I know, but what I can say? I'm a pedant.

  • by mspohr (589790) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:41PM (#46254871)

    The basic problem is that industry gets to invent new chemicals and to use them with very little testing. Since it can easily take 10 or 20 years to discover toxicities, this means that we are all participating in a giant uncontrolled experiment to discover which chemicals are bad for us. There are about 100,000 industrial chemicals in use today and very few of these have been rigorously tested. The rest are being tested on us. Of course, it is very difficult to sort out which of the thousands of chemicals we are exposed to are causing which of our many toxic effects so lots of opportunity for psychopathic corporations to perseverate and keep their profits flowing.
    A good case in point is California TB117 which required flame retardants in furniture starting in 1975. Over the years TDCPP (chlorinated Tris... listed as a carcinogen by California in 2011), PentaBDE, (pentabrominated diphenyl ether, globally banned due to toxicity and environmental persistence) and Firemaster 550, (associated with obesity and anxiety in one animal study) were used in massive quantities causing untold damage (and no real improvement in flame resistance). After years of studies and lots of resistance from chemical companies (fake studies, astroturf groups, etc.) California finally allowed furniture to be made without fire retardants (although they were not banned). BTW, since it is inconvenient for manufacturers to make California specific furniture, everyone in the country was exposed to these chemicals.
    There have been federal and state attempts to pass legislation requiring more testing of chemicals but, of course, these are going nowhere since it would interfere with chemical industry profits and they can bribe legislators to get their way.

    • by TheSync (5291)

      There is zero evidence that TDCPP when used as a fire retardant leads to cancer in humans. I wouldn't want to drink it, but that goes for a lot of chemicals.

      On the other hand, 2500 people die from fire in the US every year, and 13,000 are injured.

      • by mspohr (589790)

        This is the problem.
        You state that there is "zero evidence" that TDCPP leads to cancer in humans.
        The NIH, OTOH, says this: "In recent years, animal studies have suggested that TDCPP is neurotoxic, an endocrine disruptor, and a reproductive toxicant.4,5,6 The National Research Council has reported TDCPP to be linked to cancer in rats,7 and the chemical is on California’s Proposition 65 list of substances known to cause cancer.8 However, its potential carcinogencity has not been classified by the Enviro

  • Present "education" and TV are very helpful in create dumb people who do not use their brains. Therefore, we can also dump all the poisons in everybody's backyard and don't care if women and subsequently babies get the chemicals in their brains. Also it helps us to de-evolve into apes.

     

  • Purity of Essence must be preserved!

    Ripper: Mandrake?
    Mandrake: Yes, Jack?
    Ripper: Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
    Mandrake: Well, I can't say I have, Jack.
    Ripper: Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?
    Mandrake: Well, I-I believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.
    Ripper: On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.
    Mandrake: Oh, eh, yes. I, uhm, can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.
    Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake

  • Won't someone think of the products!?

    We know why some things are where they are. Most of it is either forms of fillers, addictive elements, taste stimulants or simply ways to keep government subsidies flowing and justified. (Seriously, why so damned much corn?!)

    They keep pushing the envelope of what's "acceptable" and push for ever decreasing standards. You know who else had been pushing for decreased standards? THE BANKING and SECURITIES MARKETERS. We know the result of that. But that's just money.

  • In the US we simply have failed to prevent major hazards to health and life. Not only do we have a huge problem with chemicals but we also roll the dice constantly with regard to bacteria and virus problems. And it still is directly related to population size and business practices. Long distance tourism is a nightmare for disease control. Any bug that develops can be transported anywhere in the world in a single day and we don't even consider the jet fuel exhausted in our air. Cruise ships freq
  • by pubwvj (1045960) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @04:39PM (#46255913)

    This is not really news. I was aware of this back when I was a child in the 1970's. People are screaming in the media about global warming but they're missing the real issue which is toxic pollution. Climate change is merely a distraction.

    The solution is to take control over the inputs as much as possible. I pasture raise my children far out in the country raising much of our own food so I know it is good. I make sure we have good water and I limit our exposure to unnecessary chemical toxins. Very little is actually necessary.

    In addition to the chemical toxins there are also social toxins. Turn off the TV and get a grip on the other media you expose yourself and your children to on a daily basis. Teach them to question these things and understand the devious psychology behind advertising. Don't be a sheep.

  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @04:50PM (#46255963)

    So two doctors did a report in 2006 which found five out of the thousands of chemicals that exist in the world can cause brain issues in children. Five is a pretty low number. There are probably more.
    Take a look at their "new" list.

    Manganese is a known toxin with exposure limits.
    Floride [wikipedia.org] a known toxin. I would like to see the report they are citing. Maybe at high levels beyound what is allowed in most places there is an issue. Floride has been a target of many scare studies.
    Tetrachloroethylene [wikipedia.org] not a nice chemical to begin with.
    Polybrominated diphenyl ethers [wikipedia.org] have been studied for years and some types banned before 2006.
    chlorpyrifos [wikipedia.org] should have been included in the 2006 study.
    DDT [wikipedia.org] , a chemical with more problems than infant development.
    So even the chemicals they found to have issues has many more issues before 2006.

    This study uses one of the most obvious tactic to sensationalize their report; percentage growth in small numbers. They could have said "the number of chemicals increased by 5" nut that would be seen by most people as insignificant considering the number of chemicals in the world. The word "doubling" has much more impact. They hope people won't see that even doubled, the number is insif=gnificant.

    We know there are many more chemicals in the world that cause brain development issues that are not on that list. An obvious example is alcohol which causes Fetal alcohol syndrome [wikipedia.org]. How many did they miss? How many more years can they get funding to find issues that have already been found?

  • OK I can understand Knowledge doubling but
    what is most important to me is the change in
    substances that cause damage and yes new
    substances adding insult to injury.

    As I scanned the article I did not see new substances as problems
    but the same list of bad actors (mercury, dioxin... ).

    One article is clearly self serving as they advise the establishment
    of a clearing house and income source for themselves.

    Missing in this is the growing body of knowledge that
    grapefruit has massive social impact and now that it
    is av

  • Is there any evidence of widespread brain damage? No. In fact, kids have been getting smarter and healthier for decades. This is another one of those "think of the children" scares by which people are trying to make a name for themselves and others latch onto them because it aligns with their political ideologies.

  • Landrigan and Grandjean looked at an analysis of 27 studies of children, mostly in China, who were exposed to fluoride in drinking water at high concentrations.

    It's all true then! Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face! And do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, children's ice cream.

  • If you want to read a good rebuttal on the fluoride study, see here [ilikemyteeth.org].

    They mention that the high-fluoride areas in these countries reached levels as high as 11.5 mg/L, more than 10 times higher than the optimal level used in the U.S. The authors also added that "reports of lead concentrations in the study villages in China were not available", which could be a major confounding factor.

  • If you are really worried about your kid's IQâ¦

    â¦only mate with someone with a high IQ. That will go a lot farther to raising their IQ than taking away your kid's BPA bottle.

    Heritability of IQ is about 50%-80% depending on which study you read.

  • The first step would be to change the public school system and stop teaching to the lowest denominator. Avoid any history books newer than 1960. IE: Revisionist History, Put emphasis on the 3 Rs. Give the kids a challenge that will make them want to learn instead of endure until they can get out.
  • very interesting; arguing as devils advocate I wonder if it's because we're discovering more substances that effect neuro development or the other way round. Oh well, I guess we'll find out soon enough lets hope it isn't when half of us can't spell their own names .......

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