by Dr. Sandra Cottingham, author of LEAD BABIES
Avoiding neurotoxins before and during pregnancy is the biggest gift you can give your baby. If you are pregnant or planning to be soon, its important to know that heavy metals such as lead and mercury are causing our children's autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, low IQ and behavior problems.
Research has long since confirmed for us that compromised brain function such as learning disabilities or low IQ is the result of exposure to a range of common household lead sources. The media has done a good job in recent years of ensuring that consumers are informed about toys and baby products that contain lead.
Yet, since an unborn baby's source of lead is its own mother, parents and parents-to-be need to look well beyond these high profile recalled items for children, and eliminate sources of lead from their adult world.
As lead accumulates in bone and tissue and is released into the blood stream during pregnancy and breastfeeding, expectant mothers should be especially aware that their own toxic exposure may result in lead poisoning effects to their unborn or newborn children.
The sources of lead range widely from cosmetics and small appliances to drinking water and garden soil. In many cases, the source of contamination is actually lead paint poisoning. Lead paint testing for walls, trim, furniture and toys can be done quickly and inexpensively using a home LEAD TEST KIT. Similarly, water can be tested with a home test kit.
The mercury-based preservative in vaccines, food products made with high fructose corn syrup, various items in our medicine cabinets, the dangerous levels found in fish, and the 49% mercury used in dental amalgam are all common sources of mercury that should be concerning. Mercury is also pumped out of coal burning plants and sent airborne around the world. Mercury is extremely dangerous – the second most toxic substance known to man. Yet, the toxic impact of just trace amounts of this metal are multiplied many times when lead is also present in the body. Mercury is the cause of autism, mental illness, and a long list of autoimmune diseases.
When Does an Infant's Brain Development Begin?
Cell division happens so immediately following fertilization that within mere hours, distinct areas of the embryo can be identified. This is important information, since each area develops into different parts of the body. It is profound to realize that the foundation for life becomes so highly organized so quickly. It is virtually immediate. By seven weeks, the rate of neuron formation is thousands per minute. By the end of gestation, the completed process of neuron production will have yielded a total of ten billion of them.
Imagine that this complex sequence is a ballet performance and that the developing brain is the stage. Every few moments, a group of dancers splits off and migrates to a different part of the stage. As new groups appear seemingly from out of nowhere, evolving and changing, timing and position are everything; precision is imperative. Someone or something wandering in from the wings unanticipated or unplanned could throw an entire sequence off, if not throw the whole performance into a chaotic response. It is unpredictable what will happen. Whether a dancer misses a step and carries on, trips and falls, or becomes lost and confused in the middle of the stage depends on the exact timing of the unplanned guest, their point of entry, and other factors.
Everything in the developing embryo has a specific job to be carried out in a certain way at a certain time. To throw off mechanisms which regulate the intricate process of brain development adds significant risk. As any number of toxic substances enter the dance, the likelihood that development will be impacted and a child's perceptual facility, sensory processing ability, or intellectual potential will be compromised, increases.
We know that heavy metals such as lead and mercury are causing our children's autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, low IQ and behavior problems. Avoiding neurotoxins during pregnancy is the biggest gift you can give your baby. Please visit enoughlead.com for helpful resources to get started. This site can also help you and your family identify and remove lead exposure sources in your home.
Dr. Cottingham's book, Lead Babies: How Heavy Metals are Causing Children's Autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Low IQ and Behavior Problems is an empowering and comprehensive guide to understanding and responding to your family's specific lead exposure risks.
Dr. Sandra Cottingham, Ph.D. has twenty years of classroom experience with regular students and with students with special needs. She works as a researcher, writer, university instructor and consultant in the field of special education in BC, Canada. Dr. Cottingham's book, Lead Babies: How Heavy Metals are Causing Children's Autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Low IQ and Behavior Problems is an empowering and comprehensive guide to understanding and responding to your specific lead exposure risks. You can contact Dr. Cottingham with questions or comments @ http://bit.ly/cHpag2.
Copyright © Dr. Sandra Cottingham. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC. Images courtesy of Dr. Sandra Cottingham.