Navigation Links
Methylmercury warning
Date:10/28/2008

Recent studies hint that exposure to the toxic chemicals, such as methylmercury can cause harm at levels previously considered safe. A new analysis of the epidemiological evidence in the International Journal of Environment and Health, suggests that we should take a precautionary approach to this and similar compounds to protect unborn children from irreversible brain damage.

Philippe Grandjean of the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, and the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, explains that the causes of suboptimal and abnormal mental development are mostly unknown. However, severe exposure to pollutants during the development of the growing fetus can cause problems that become apparent as brain functions develop - and ultimately decline - in later life. Critically, much smaller doses of chemicals, such as the neurotoxic compound methylmercury, can harm the developing brain to a much greater extent than the adult brain.

Methylmercury is a chemical compound formed in the environment from released mercury. Unfortunately, the methylmercury can be transported quickly around the body and may enter the brain. Serious problems will ensue if important developmental processes are blocked as there will be only one chance for the brain to develop.

The researchers point out that until recently research into the effects of pollutants on the brain has been clouded by the lack of information on actual exposure. Moreover, finding a direct link between specific problems with the brain and exposure relies on statistical, or epidemiological, analysis rather than case-by-case understanding. The researchers say that neurodevelopmental disorders of possible environmental origin affect between 5% and 10% of babies born worldwide, leading to dyslexia, mental retardation, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, and autism.

The toxicity of methylmercury is well known, but the researchers believe that the medical world has underestimated the risk of brain damage associated with exposure to this compound as well as numerous others. Professor Grandjean emphasizes that little research has been carried out into the effects of other neurotoxic chemicals.

"Until there is enough evidence to rule out effects of certain chemicals on the developing nervous system, a cautious approach would involve strict regulation of suspected developmental neurotoxicants and prudent counseling of expectant mothers regarding exposures to untested substances," the researchers conclude.


'/>"/>

Contact: Philippe Grandjean
pgrand@hsph.harvard.edu
Inderscience Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Global Viral Forecasting Initiative receives $11M to implement pandemic early warning system
2. Fructose sets table for weight gain without warning
3. Stevens strengthens Dominican Republics Early Warning System for Inundations
4. A home early warning system for cardiac patients
5. Insect warning colors aid cancer and tropical disease drug discovery
6. USGS to help Chile develop volcano early warning system
7. Warning buoys for right whales installed along Massachusetts Bay
8. Fluorescent cells give early warning for eye disease
9. UC Davis bird-flu expert calls for changes in early-warning system
10. Acid oceans warning
11. Study identifies warning signs of pregnancy danger
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the launch ... dynamic digital window into the human cell. The website ... deep learning to create predictive models of cell organization, ... suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer will ... resources created and shared by the Allen Institute for ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters ... two-day competition will focus on developing health and wellness ... Hack the Genome is the first ... tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been ... (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 on the ... In addition, CHS previously earned a place in ... electronic medical record (EMR). "HIMSS Analytics ... EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  This recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial ... of polymeric molecules, can cause diverse pathologies ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections ... of biofilms is in the tens of billions of dollars per year, there is ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Customers often prefer PLC and network ... METTLER TOLEDO has released two new videos that show how they have solved ... ACT350 into Siemens and Allen Bradley PLCs is easy and fast. ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations to grow ... U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. , The recommendations are ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility scientists’ work is being ... Bioanalysts (AAB) and the College of Reproductive Biology (CRB) today and Saturday (May ... excellence in clinical laboratory services and regulations. , “We are pleased to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: