Brain developmental disorders in children are linked to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), revealed study published in Endocrine Connections. The review describes how numerous, common chemicals can interfere with normal thyroid hormone actions, which are essential for normal brain development in foetuses and young children, and suggests a need for greater public health intervention.
Maternal thyroid hormones (TH) are essential for normal brain development of children and previous human studies have indicated that even moderate disruption to TH function in pregnant women may affect cognitive development and increase the risk of brain developmental disorders in their children. In modern times, an increase in chemical production has led to widespread environmental chemical contamination that can affect normal hormone function in those exposed, particularly in vulnerable populations, such as children and pregnant women. Many of these identified endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which include pesticides and substances used in manufacturing a multitude of products, have been reported to interfere with thyroid hormone function, yet public health policy does not fully address the risks to vulnerable populations.
In this review, Professor Barbara Demeneix and colleagues at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Paris-Sorbonne, examine published evidence of the wide variety and high number of EDCs, from pesticides to chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs, cosmetics, furniture and plastics, that can all interfere with TH. The authors further highlight that complex mixtures of these thyroid-disrupting chemicals are present in all humans, including children and pregnant women.