Stewards of Health and Creation
Disability is a natural phenomenon of the human condition. While some disabilities occur naturally, others result from toxic exposure. Disabilities resulting from toxic exposures are unnecessary and preventable. Reducing and adequately regulating toxic chemicals in the environment has a great potential to protect public health and God’s Creation. Policies that articulate the rights of people living with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of society are vital. As people of faith, by providing public witness to the harm caused by toxic exposures and sharing healthier practices with everyone, our communities can all ultimately live more abundantly.
Environmental Toxins and Disabilities: A Concern Throughout the Lifespan
This factsheet provides simple answers to frequently asked questions about mental retardation/developmental disabilities and why environmental toxicants are important to consider. This short factsheet can serve as a useful guide for self-advocates and more general community members alike.
AAIDD Fact Sheet on Students with Disabilities in Schools
This is an informative factsheet on environmental concerns in and around the school. The focus of this information is on the special education students and students with disabilities, who may be additionally vulnerable, either due to compromised immune systems or because of environmental conditions in the classroom.
What Is Environmental Health?
This factsheet gives a short history and definition of Enironmental Health in the context of Developmental Disabilities. It is intended to be a useful resource for the general population and is not intended to be a fully comprehensive document.
Baby's Toxic Bottle: A Report on Bisphenol A
Bisphenol A, first synthesized in 1895, was discovered in 1936 to be a synthetic estrogen. The chemical is now utilized in hard, polycarbonate plastics, as well as the epoxy resins used in the linings of some food and beverage containers, dental sealants and numerous other consumer products. Bisphenol A is a developmental, neural, and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function. Animal studies demonstrate that the chemical causes damage to reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development, such as infancy and in the womb. The levels sufficient to cause harm in animals are beneath the average levels reported in people living throughout the developed world. Many scientists now suggest similar damage may be occurring in the human population.
A Primer on Chemicals, Fertility, and Reproduction
This is a fact sheet on some of the big bads of low-level environmental pollution, and what you can do to cut your exposure. Still, it's not going to be green consumerism that ultimately solves this problem, but green chemistry: by replacing these harmful substances at the manufacturing level with safer alternatives. Making that happen will probably require a hard nudge from lawmakers and regulators. To link directly to the website, click here.
Linking Environmental Exposures with Psychological Disorders Fact Sheet
- Over the past few decades, research on the neurotoxic effects of lead has predominantly focused on cognitive deficits in children and infants. Evidence demonstrating various learning and behavioural problems resulting from lead exposure is voluminous, and links have been discovered between lead-poisoned children and deficits in a variety of functions.
Lead Poisoning And The Brain - Cognitive Deficits And Mental Illness Fact Sheet -
The role of neurotoxicants in the etiology of psychological disorders is increasingly being recognized. A considerable body of research shows that neurotoxic exposures may be associated with deficits in IQ, learning, memory, and attention as well as behavioral changes.
What Can I Do? A Body's Burden Fact Sheet - What can I do? That's been the most common response to Inside Bay Area, a California newspaper's investigation into the chemicals we are carrying around in our bodies. There are no easy answers. Here's what we know: Phthalates, Brominated Flame Retardants (PBDEs), particulates and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) contaminate our environment and our bodies almost without exception. In high doses, these chemicals seem to be harmful to animals. Although our exposure to these chemicals is apparently increasing, there's no solid evidence that they're doing anything TO us. So the phthalates in your perfume may contribute to the possibility that your children will have reproductive difficulties. Or they may have no effect on you or your family. Nobody knows. But that's not a very satisfying answer. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chemical load your body bears. This fact sheet provides useful information adapted from Inside Bay Area.
National Children's Study Fact Sheet - The National Children's Study is framed by a set of key scientific research questions that include some of the most pressing health and development concerns for children today. Designed as a longitudinal cohort study, it will examine participants' growth and development over time. The Study will produce information of unprecedented value for scientists, health professionals, and families around multiple concerns.
Pesticides Fact Sheet - Pesticides are poisons that are meant to kill pests such as rodents and insects as well as weeds and fungi. Many common pesticides contain potent chemicals called neurotoxins that can impact the nervous system and brain. Studies suggest that this is true not only for pests, but for humans as well. In fact, exposures to pesticides have been linked to learning, behavioral, and developmental disabilities.
Pesticides in Produce Fact Sheet - The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists the 12 popular fresh fruits and vegetables that are consistently the most contaminated with pesticides and those 12 fruits and vegetables that consistently have low levels of pesticides. If you are concerned about pesticides in your diet, this handy wallet card can help you choose produce that lowers exposure to pesticides for you and your family.
Toxicants and L/DD Fact Sheet - Learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and emotional and behavioral problems are among childhood disabilities of increasing concern. Genetic, environmental, and social factors have important effects on how children's brains develop and function. Extensive laboratory and clinical studies of several compounds toxic to neural development, including lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), alcohol, and nicotine, have demonstrated how the developing brain of children is uniquely vulnerable to environmental agents at levels that have no lasting effects in adults. Unfortunately, understanding the effects of these toxicants on the developing brain has emerged slowly while children continue to be exposed to unsafe levels.
Greening the Cleaning - Cleaning products used in homes and other indoor environments can be harmful to our families and our environments. This fact sheet provides some useful information adapted from the Dierdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology for green cleaning products that can be used in place of toxic indoor pesticides and disinfectants. Reducing toxic exposures in the home can be an important and simple first step in avoiding unnecessary harm from environmental toxic exposures.
Eco-Healthy Childcare Solutions - Useful tips for children's health, taken from the Oregon Environmental Council. This includes safe cleaning methods in the home, information on exposures in the home that may be harmful such as brominated flame retardants in furniture, and plastics and plastic toys.
Smart Plastics Guide
Plastics are widely used to store and package foods and beverages. Uses include disposable and reusable containers, plastic wraps, cutlery, water bottles and baby bottles. Plastic is convenient, lightweight, unbreakable and relatively inexpensive. However, there are both environmental and health risks from the widespread use of plastics. Use this guide to get more information on how the chemicals found in some plastics are linked to developmental and reproductive problems.
Practice Prevention Columns - The Institute for Children's Environmental Health has provided a list of toxins that impact children's health. With an emphasis on the effects of neurotoxicants and environmental hazards on the developing human brain, these columns summarize recent scientific research for a nonscientific audience. These also serve as resources for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment's Learning and Developmental Disabilities Initiative, which ICEH coordinates nationally.
Questions Answered by Environmental Health Nurse, Karen Bowman - On web-based Grist Environmental News and Commentary Newsletter (www.grist.org), Karen Bowman has accomplished her goal: by using her InterActivist platform to rave about the joys of being an occupational- and environmental-health nurse, she piqued the interest of a reader interested in following that line of work. Bowman gives the scoop on OEH nursing, as well as answering reader questions about eco-alternatives to toxic cleaners.