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Researchers and scientists have identified over a dozen chemicals and substances which are proven to be responsible for cognitive and behavioural related problems by affecting the brain negatively.

Toxic products are thought to be chemicals which are only found in industrial areas and thus exposure to these substances are only causing occupational related diseases. The fact is that these chemicals are found nearly everywhere and can affect anyone.

The group that is most at risk is children under the age of 3 years, since brain development is occurring at this stage, and this includes unborn babies in pregnant women too.

Organophosphate pesticides

Organophosphate toxins suppress the enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine, a protein involved with neurotransmission, thereby resulting in high levels of this protein. The result is that the patient will start experiencing a variety of symptoms such as shortness of breath, a decreased heart rate, vomiting and diarrhoea. In severe cases, neurological symptoms such as convulsions and coma may be experienced.

The latest revelation is that long term pesticide exposure has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Although these pesticides are regulated, not all countries abide by the same rules unfortunately.

Therefore, the best way to try and avoid pesticide exposure it to make sure that produce has been properly cleaned before consumption or to rather switch to organic produce.


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound which is known to be a toxin found in plastic containing products such as shopping bags, soft-drinks and water bottles, etc. It has been linked to neurological disorders, learning difficulties, behavioural issues and it affects memory recall.


When you hear the word benzene, the thought of car fuel is the first thing that comes into your mind. It can also be found in certain pharmaceuticals as well as detergents.

Benzene is even found in cigarette smoke and has been classified as a cancer producing chemical. The average smoker will inhale 10 times the amount of benzene than a non-smoker will, according to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC).

This toxin can also easily pass from mother to child via the placenta. The best way to try and avoid benzene is to distance yourself from petrol products, cigarette smoke and waste plants.


This toxin has been used by humans for hundreds of years and for many purposes. From apparent medical treatments to being used in medical equipment up to being utilized in plants that use coal. This has led to mercury becoming a major pollutant which has resulted in being found in seafood.

Mercury is easily absorbed by the body through being consumed, inhaled and even via the skin. It can cause many issue ranging from neurological problems such as psychosis, hallucinations and delirium to physical complications such as kidney and liver failure.

Mercury can easily pass over to an unborn baby and cause neural tube defects during the first 12 weeks of development. Pregnant women should best avoid this toxin and one of the ways to do so is to avoid seafood during this time.


Lead poisoning was quite prevalent not only in the 19th century but even occurs today. The main reason behind lead poisoning was lead based paint which children were either exposed to through inhaling the products or they would peel dry paint chips and consume them. Once again, lead would also pass to an unborn baby via the pregnant mother.

This led to a multitude of medical issues which included chronic problems such as stunted growth, developmental delays, learning difficulties and hearing loss. More acute issues would include loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, weight loss and constipation.

One would need to avoid exposure to not only lead based paints but any lead containing products such as toys and jewellery.

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