Over the past four decades, the prevalence of autism, asthma, ADHD, obesity, diabetes, and birth defects has increased substantially among children throughout the world. Not coincidentally, more than 80,000 new chemicals have been developed and released into the global environment during this same period. Today the World Health Organization attributes more than one third of all childhood deaths to environmental causes. Children's environmental health is a new and growing discipline that responds to the expanding threat of chemical and environmental hazards to child health. Amid mounting evidence that children are especially sensitive to their environment-and that exposure during their developmental "windows of susceptibility" can trigger cellular changes that lead to lifelong disease and disability-there is a compelling need for continued scientific study of the relationship between children's health and their environment. Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know offers an authoritative yet accessible question-and-answer guide to the "silent spring" of threats in our collective backyard.
As the burdens of environmental toxins and chronic disease continue to defy borders, this book will be an invaluable addition to the conspicuously sparse literature in this area.
Philip J. Landrigan, MD, M.Sc., is Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine and Founding Director, Children's Environmental Health Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. Mary M. Landrigan, M.P.A., is a health educator who spent 25 years at the Westchester County Department of Health.