An article by Michael Warhurst of the UK-based charity CHEM Trust, published on March 7, 2017, informs about the release of the new CHEM Trust report, which focused on chemicals that can adversely affect brain development in children. The state of science in the report was summarized by Maricel Maffini, independent consultant based in Maryland, U.S., and policy recommendations along with advice for individuals were written by Michael Warhurst and Ninja Reineke of CHEM Trust.

The report recalls that in the previous years, lead and polychlorinated biphenyls presented the most concern for their potential to damage brain development in children. Presently, many more chemicals have been associated with potentially detrimental effects on brain development, raising concerns about the consequences of exposures in pregnant women and children (FPF reported). The effects may manifest as attention deficits and lower IQ, preventing children from “reaching their full potential” (FPF reported). Such chemicals include but are not limited to bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and some of its replacements, phthalates, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and perchlorate. For these chemicals and some other potential neurotoxins, food contact materials represent one potential exposure source (FPF reported). Although children are commonly exposed to mixtures of chemicals (FPF reported) which may act together (FPF reported), the effects of mixtures are “still largely ignored by chemical safety laws,” according to Warhurst.

Policy recommendations compiled by CHEM Trust include, among others, “acting faster to ban chemicals of concern, including groups of similar substances,” and “ensuring that any safety testing of chemicals includes evaluation of neurodevelopmental effects.” CHEM Trust also specifically points out that there is a “need for more comprehensive regulation of chemicals in food contact materials.”

Read more

Michael Warhurst (March 7, 2017). “It’s a no brainer! Action needed to stop children being exposed to chemicals that harm their brain development.CHEM Trust

CHEM Trust (March 7, 2017). “No Brainer report: Policy recommendations to prevent children being exposed to chemicals that harm their brain development.

HEAL (March 7, 2017). “Review builds compelling evidence that chemical exposure harms children’s brains.

Emma Davies (March 7, 2017). “EU testing for developmental neurotoxicity inadequate, says CHEM Trust.Chemical Watch

ChemSec (March 10, 2017). “New report details the impact of chemicals on children’s brain development.


CHEM Trust (March 7, 2017). “No Brainer: The impact of chemicals on children’s brain development: a cause for concern and a need for action.” (pdf)