Three common environmental chemicals– lead, organophosphate pesticides and methylmercury– may have effects on children’s IQ in the overall population to the impacts of major medical conditions such as preterm birth or ADHD – two of the most prevalent in U.S. children. The finding from this reanalysis of published data hints that the societal toll of exposures to these invisible yet widespread contaminants – lead, organophosphate pesticides and methylmercury – may be more severe than what previous studies of individual risk would suggest.
Lead had the most severe calculated impact, with an estimated drop in IQ of 23 million points in the population. In contrast, the predicted loss due to preterm birth was 13 million points. Any drop in IQ is considered detrimental to people’s success and society’s needs.
That’s the news from Environmental Health News this week. And this is based on no small study:
“In one of the first studies of its kind, the author analyzed published data from 25.5 million children and compared estimates of population-wide IQ loss from exposures to those of several well-known childhood medical conditions.”
For more, check out the full piece, linked above, or the journal article: Dose–Response Relationship of Prenatal Mercury Exposure and IQ: An Integrative Analysis of Epidemiologic Data.
Young child image via shutterstock