Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Developmental Damage & Toxic Metals

Effects of Toxic Metals on Learning Ability and Behavior

EDTA Detoxamin Therapy for Children
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The human brain forms and develops over a long period of time compared to other organs, with neuron proliferation and migration continuing in the postnatal period. The blood-brain barrier is not fully developed until the middle of the first year of life. Similarly there is postnatal activity in the development of neuronal receptors and transmitter systems, as well as in the production of myelin. The fetus has been found to get significant exposure to toxic substances through maternal blood and across the placenta, with fetal levels of toxic metals often being higher than that of maternal blood.19,30-32,41-43

Likewise infants have been found to get significant exposure to toxics, such as mercury and organochlorine compounds that their mother is exposed to, through breast-feeding.26,30-32,43,101,107

The incidence of neurotoxic or immune reactive conditions such as autism, scizophrenia, ADD, dyslexia, learning disabilities, etc. have been increasing rapidly in recent years.2,80-82,143,14

A recent report by the National Research Council found that 50% of all pregnancies in the U.S. are now resulting in prenatal or postnatal mortality, significant birth defects, developmental neurological problems, or otherwise chronically unhealthy babies.82 There has been a similar sharp increase in developmental conditions in Canadian children132, including increases in learning disabilities and behavioral problems, asthma and allergies, and childhood cancer.

Exposure to toxic chemicals or environmental factors appear to be a factor in as much as 28 percent of the 4 million U.S. children born each year6-23, with at least 1 in 6 having one of the neurological conditions previously listed according to the U.S. Census Bureau.82 U.S. EPA estimates that over 3 million of these are related to lead or mercury toxicity.2,41,81,108 Evidence indicates that over 60,000 children are born each year with neurodevelopmental impairment due to methylmercury107, with even higher levels of exposure and impairment from two other sources, vaccines and mother's amalgam dental fillings.43,81

The level of exposure in most infants to mercury thimerosal has been found to be many times higher than the federal limits for mercury exposure.81,122 The largest increase in neurological problems has been in infants2,80-82, with an increase in autism cases to over 500,0002,80-82,43b, an over 500% increase to a level of almost 1 per 300 infants in the last decade80, making it the 3rd most common chronic childhood condition, along with similar increases in ADD2,41,43b, 83,88,143. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics between 4 to 12 % of all school age children are affected by ADHD144 and a similar number have some degree of dyslexia41. However large surveys of elementary level student records finds much higher levels- with over 20% of elementary school boys in some areas being treated for ADD.

143 Studies have found that long term use of stimulant drugs commonly causes significant adverse neurological and health effects145, and options are available to deal with such conditions without such adverse effects including dealing with the underlying causes.

Children's Exposure To Tobacco Smoke: Still A Health Threat
May Lower Vitamin C Levels, Increase Ear Infections
As every parent knows, kids are like sponges. They take in everything around them. Unfortunately, that often includes second-hand tobacco smoke.
More than 40% of children grow up in a household with at least one smoker. And two new studies suggest that environmental exposure to smoke could have detrimental health consequences for these children very early in life.

Richard S. Strauss, M.D., from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Robert Wood Johnson School Of Medicine, recently evaluated data from a sample of nearly 3000 children between the ages of 4 and 18. He found that as the amount of a nicotine metabolite, called cotinine, increased in the children's blood, their circulating levels of Vitamin C decreased.

"This report is the first large study to document direct metabolic consequences of environmental tobacco smoke in children," Dr. Strauss pointed out. Dr. Strauss noted that tobacco smoke is loaded with free radicals. Thus, ongoing exposure to second-hand smoke is likely to put greater stress on the children's antioxidant reserves, using up more of the available supply of Vitamin C. Such a relationship has already been shown in adults who smoke. The potential health effects could be serious, Dr. Strauss observes, because free radical stress can damage DNA in the cell. It can also create a more reactive, destructive form of cholesterol that promotes heart disease.

And there may be an even more immediate impact. Another recent study found that children exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke had a 38% higher rate of new ear infections (otitis media) than other children. The analysis was based on both personal smoking history of the family and the levels of cotinine measured in the children's urine.

"Passive smoking increases the risk of otitis media in children, and cotinine urinalysis is a reliable method to determine the effect of passive smoking," they concluded.
These study results contradict the assertion by the tobacco industry that second-hand smoke is not harmful, the researchers stated. They called for improved ways to protect children from the potential health threat posed by environmental tobacco smoke.146,147

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