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Health and Environment Alliance - Neurodevelopmental disorders

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Neurodevelopmental disorders

The WHO states that the developing nervous system is particularly vulnerable very early in life to damaging effects of exposure to specific contaminants such as lead, methylmercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). A child can absorb as much as 50% of the lead present in food, while an adult takes up only 10% (United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates in 1986). Exposure to such substances has been associated with developmental disabilities in the form of physical, cognitive, sensory and speech impairments, including in particular learning disabilities and intellectual retardation.

The European Commission also set up a Technical Working Group looking into neurodevelopmental disorders which made recommendations for various form of action to be taken into consideration.