Friday, January 22, 2010

The Unique Vunerability of Children to Environmental Toxins

Children are not simply "little adults." Four fundamental differences between children and adults contribute to children's heightened susceptibility to environmental toxins.

This is a crucial reason to look at all sensible ways to de-tox their environments.  It is imperative to find solutions and these are just a few reasons why . . . .

    * Children have disproportionately heavy exposures to environmental toxicants due to their greater intake pound-for-pound of food, water, and air, coupled with their unique behaviors - in particular, hand-to-mouth behavior.
    * Children's metabolic pathways, especially in the first months after birth, are immature. In many instances, they are less able than adults to deal with toxic compounds.
    * Children are undergoing rapid growth and development. These developmental processes create windows of great vulnerability in which the course of development can be permanently disrupted by environmental toxins.
    * Because children have more future years of life than adults, they have more time to develop chronic diseases that may be initiated by early exposures.

*National Research Council. Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2000.

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