Sunday, January 17, 2010

Children's Unique Vulnerability

Children are not simply "little adults." Four fundamental differences between children and adults contribute to children's heightened susceptibility to environmental toxins.

This is a crucial reason to look at all sensible ways to de-tox their environments.  It is imperative to find solutions and these are just a few reasons why . . . .

    * Children have disproportionately heavy exposures to environmental toxicants due to their greater intake pound-for-pound of food, water, and air, coupled with their unique behaviors - in particular, hand-to-mouth behavior.
    * Children's metabolic pathways, especially in the first months after birth, are immature. In many instances, they are less able than adults to deal with toxic compounds.
    * Children are undergoing rapid growth and development. These developmental processes create windows of great vulnerability in which the course of development can be permanently disrupted by environmental toxins.
    * Because children have more future years of life than adults, they have more time to develop chronic diseases that may be initiated by early exposures.

*National Research Council. Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2000.

SOURCE: Mount Sinai - Children's Environmental Health Center

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