- In a landmark study published in the Journal of Pediatrics (August 2009), researchers conclusively linked air pollution exposure before birth with lower IQ scores in childhood. The children of the mothers exposed to the most pollution before birth scored on average four to five IQ points lower than children with less exposure.
- In the first study of its kind, conducted by the Environmental Working Group (an American-based research organization) in 2005, an average of 285 toxic pollutants were found in the umbilical cord blood of each newborn baby at the moment of birth. The blood samples came from babies born in U.S. hospitals in August and September of 2004. These pollutants and toxins included chemicals and metals known to cause cancer and damage to the nervous system and brain. (8)
- Recent studies from Russia show that a stunning 50 percent of Russian children are now born with some type of birth defect or physical developmental disorder, which researchers say is directly associated with the country’s disastrous levels of environmental contamination. (9)
- The number of Chinese children with birth defects rose by 40 percent between 2001 and 2006, according to the National Population and Family Planning Commission. Birth defects are now the single biggest killer of infants on the mainland, with more than a million babies being born in China with “visible defects” every year.
- Forty years ago, one in fifty children in the United States suffered from some type of chronic, lifelong illness. That number is now one in five children, an increase of 400 percent. Exposure to environmental pollutants and toxins figure prominently in this extraordinary increase in sick children. (10)
This is the sad reality of children who are entering the world these days.
It is no longer up for debate whether exposure to and accumulation of toxins during pregnancy affects the health, development and intelligence of the baby. It is a fact.
It is imperative to learn about environmental toxins, the harm they cause, how to limit exposure to them and how to protect ourselves and our children from their effects through neutralization and detoxification. These are the goals of this chapter.