Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development -- and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation

Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development -- and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation

by Philippe Grandjean

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190239732
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Series: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS AND SCIENCE POLICY Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Philippe Grandjean is Professor and Chair of Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark and Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health. He has devoted his career to studying how environmental chemicals affect children and their brain development. His studies on mercury triggered an international response that led to a United Nations agreement to control mercury pollution. He has studied children in the U.S. and Denmark, in the Faroe Islands, and countries in South America and Asia, and he has published more than 500 scientific papers on his findings.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Brain Matters: Only One Chance to Develop a Brain
1. Sensitive Development: Complexity Creates Vulnerability
2. Toxic Invasion: The Placenta Is Not a Protective Armor
3. Invisible Lead: Health Hazards from Demanding Scientific Proof
4. Poisoned Science: Mercury Damaged the Child's Brain but Did Not Harm the Mother
5. Substituted Milk: Poisoning During Infancy Causes Permanent Brain Damage
6. Persistent Problems: Chemicals Resistant to Break-Down Can Break Brain Cells
7. Unusual Suspects: Chemicals That Protect the Lawn May Damage the Brain
8. Mindless Costs: Losses Suffered by Victims and Society from Chemical Brain Drain
9. Inconvenient Truths: Vested Interests Can Endanger Brain Development
10. Brainy Choices: How to Secure Optimal Brain Development for the Next Generation
Appendix: Chemicals Known to Be Brain Drainers
Acknowledgments
Endnotes
Bibliography

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Only One Chance: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Brain Development -- and How to Protect the Brains of the Next Generation 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written by an expert scientist for the informed lay reader, this book documents how our most precious and complex organ, the brain, is uniquely sensitive to toxic chemicals. Using known pollutants such as lead, mercury and arsenic, Grandjean shows how scientists were afraid of crying wolf and understated the risks, while industry representatives claimed that the pollution was innocuous. While waiting for better evidence, virtually millions of children suffered toxic effects to their developing brains making them slower, distracted and forgetful. As few would obtain a formal medical diagnosis, Grandjean calls it a silent epidemic. Even more scary is it that at least 200 pollutants are suspected to cause similar effects. But we are just waiting for better proof, that is, for a sufficient number of children to develop brain problems for researchers to discover it. The author argues that the loss of brain functions is already costing us billions of dollars every year, and he proposes a very reasonable action plan. When I got to the last chapter, I was so shocked and upset that I would suggest urgent action to prevent industrial chemicals from damaging the brains of our children and grand-children. Enough is clearly known, and we have no right to 'wait and see' when the safety of the next generation's brains is at stake. I highly recommend this book, and I truly hope that it will inspire courageous action by scientists and decision-makers.