Alert to Parents Links Mercury, Found in Fish, to Learning

时间:2005-07-18 10:43 来源:台湾 作者: 点击:


March 14, 2005, Clear the Air Press Release- In a new brochure, educational and learning disabilities advocates have linked fetal and childhood exposure to mercury with learning disabilities and other damage to the brain. The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), the National Education Association (NEA), and The Arc of the United States identify mercury pollution as one of the greatest threats facing developing fetuses, infants and young children. They also show parents how exposure to this potent neurotoxicant can adversely affect their child's learning potential.

The brochure is available for download on Clear the Air's Mercury Hurts and The Arc websites.

Mercury air pollution poisons the nation's lakes, rivers and oceans. Coal fired power plants are the nation's largest uncontrolled source of mercury. Mercury contamination in fish across the U.S is so pervasive that health departments in 45 states and U.S. territories have issued food consumption advisories for freshwater and coastal fish. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and EPA specifically warn pregnant women, women of childbearing age, nursing mothers, and young children to limit their consumption of fish.

“Mercury can impair, damage, and even destroy functioning nerve tissue - much like lead,” said Dr. Larry Silver, past president of the Learning Disabilities Association of America and clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical Center. “This brochure is designed to help parents identify the causes of mercury pollution and the dangers associated with this toxic chemical.”

The brochure explains where mercury comes from, provides food consumption advice, offers ways to help stop mercury air pollution at its source, and helps parents identify clues to learning disabilities.

“As many as 10% of the school-aged population may have learning disabilities,” said Jane Browning, Executive Director of LDA.

Mercury poses the greatest hazard to the developing fetus because it passes easily through the placenta and impairs the development of the brain and nervous system. When the fetus is exposed to mercury through maternal fish consumption, neurodevelopmental effects may unfold as the child grows. Infants may appear normal during the first few months of life, but may later display subtle effects.

Children and infants may be more sensitive to the effects of mercury because their nervous systems continue to develop until about age 16. Children also have higher mercury exposures than adults because a child eats more food relative to his or her body weight than an adult does. As a result, children have a higher risk for adverse health effects.

See also:
Safe Fish CHEC List
State-by-state List of Fish Advisory Links
Fish and Seafood: Charting a Course for the Safest Choices

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