By Philippe Grandjean, Philip J Landrigan

Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-defi cit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other

cognitive impairments, aff ect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency.

Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006,

we did a systematic review and identifi ed fi ve industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead,

methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented

six additional developmental neurotoxicants—manganese, fl uoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane,

tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain

undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy.

Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all

new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these eff orts and to accelerate

translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.

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