Researchers and Results from Children's Centers Featured in CNN's "Toxic America" Series
Researchers and results from the Columbia and Mount Sinai Children's Centers were featured in CNN's "Toxic America series" in a segment about toxic chemicals being present in the womb and how that may affect development of the fetus and young children. The story features a study from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health (CCCEH) which since 1998 has measured levels of potentially harmful chemicals in the environment of hundreds of pregnant women and tested how prevalent those chemicals are in the women's bodies, in the cord blood supply to the fetus and how these may affect children's development. Frederica Perera, the PI of the CCCEH, showed that when air samples were analyzed from backpacks the women wore during pregnancy and compared with samples of cord blood, they showed detectable levels of air pollutants and pesticides that could cause potential harm. A recent CCCEH study published in Pediatrics demonstrated an association between the level of chemicals found in cord blood, lowered IQ and effects on later development, with 15 percent of children in the study showing at least one developmental problem. The air samples showed levels of PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from combustion and some of the children showed adducts between the PAHs and DNA, which Perera says could be a potential cause of later cancer. The Center's current studies include research into how endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) such as bisphenol A and PAHs can affect children's development.
Phil Landrigan, co-PI of the Mount Sinai Children's Center, is quoted in the story saying about 80 percent of common chemicals in everyday use in the U.S. have not been tested for potential toxicity to children's developing brains, immune systems, reproductive systems and other developing organs.
For the story and accompanying video, see the links below.