Chemical exposure early in life and the neurodevelopment of children – an overview of current epidemiological evidence

Joanna Jurewicz 1, Kinga Polańska 1, Wojciech Hanke 1
1 - Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Insitute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med
2013; 20 (3):
ICID: 1067427
Article type: Review article
A number of chemicals have been shown to demonstrate neurotoxic effects either in human or laboratory animal studies. This article aims at evaluating the impact of exposure to several chemicals including: organophosphate, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury and lead on the neurodevelopment of children by reviewing the most recent published literature, and answer the question whether any progress has been made in the epidemiology of the neurodevelopment of children induced by exposure to those chemicals. The result of the presented studies show that exposure to the above-mentioned chemicals may impair the neurodevelopment of children. Neonates exposed to organophosphate pesticides demonstrated a higher proportion of abnormal reflexes, and young children had more attention problems. Exposure to organochlorine pesticides in children was associated with alertness, quality of alert responsiveness, cost of attention and other potential attention associated measures. The majority of studies indicate the negative impact of lead exposure at the level <10 µg/dl or even <5 µg/dl on the neurodevelopment of children. The results of studies on exposure to PCBs, mercury, and their effect on neurodevelopment are inconsistent. Some suggest that prenatal exposure to PCBs and mercury is related to performance impairments, attention and concentration problems, while other do not present any statistically significant association. The studies were mostly well designed, using prospective cohorts with the exposure assessment based on the biomarker of exposure. Concerning the covariates and confounders affecting the endpoints in most of the presented studies, confounders were included in data analysis. In order to recognize the early cognitive, motor and language outcomes of chemical exposures, well standardized tools were used for evaluating the neurodevelopmental effects and offer an early and fairly comprehensive measure of child development. Because the neurotoxicants may cross the placenta and the fetal brain, exposure consideration regarding the reduction of exposure to those chemicals should be implemented.
PMID 24069851 - click here to show this article in PubMed

Recommend this article to:


Related articles in IndexCopernicus™
     Pesticides [143 related records]
     exposure assessment [23 related records]
     PCB [12 related records]
     Mercury [103 related records]
     Lead [262 related records]
     children neurodevelopment [0 related records]


Related articles

A Modenese, F Bisegna,
Outdoor work and solar radiation exposure: Evaluat...
Background: The health risk related to an excessive exposure to solar radiation (SR) is well known. The Sun represents the main exposure source for all the frequency bands of optical radiation, that is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging...
, ,
This study was planned to find out the concentration of chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in muscle, liver and kidneys of cattle that are commercially sold at three places of Puducherry. A total of 108 samples collected to determine...

Airborne peptidoglycans as a supporting indicator ...
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess exposure to airborne endotoxins and peptidoglycans (PGs) as well as possibility of using PGs as a surrogate measure of bacterial exposure in workplaces in a metal processing plant. Material and Methods:...