007 - Pollution

Post date: Nov 10, 2015 8:58:46 PM

Counselor Notes 7

April 27, 2012


With Earth Day having been this past Sunday, I though I would devote this issue of Counselor Notes to the problem of pollution and children. For as you will see, pollution impacts children in ways that affects their education. Even children who are not directly impacted by the pollution discussed here, are impacted as time and energy of school personnel are directed to those have needs caused by the adverse affects of pollution.


“A comprehensive survey of more than 1300 Americans has found traces of weed and bug killers in the bodies of everyone tested....” (Note: survey was done by the Center For Disease Control)

- Tennessean 5-22-04 pg. 15A

“...99% of Americans, including virtually all children born in recent years, have DDT residues.”

-Tennessean 5-22-04 pg. 15A

On May 17, 2010 on the CNN web page, there was an article linking ADHD to pesticides: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/17/pesticides.adhd/index.html?hpt=Sbin

Pesticides are known to hurt IQ:


“The Environmental Working Group and Commonwealth in cooperation with New York’s Mount Sinai School of Community Medicine conducted one study called Body Burden: The Pollution In People. The study analyzed the blood and urine levels of nine volunteers for 200 environmental chemicals. …the average number of chemicals found was 91. Of the chemicals found in Baltz’s (a 49 year old senior research associate for a Catholic social action agency in Berkley, CA) body:

-56 can affect the male reproductive system.

-61 can cause cancer.

-65 can cause birth defects.

-68 can affect hormones.

-73 can affect the brain and nervous system.

-64 can affect the respiratory system.

-68 can affect the digestive system.”

- The Tennessean 8-12-2003, pg. 1D & 8D

“Only a quarter of the 82,000 chemicals in use in the U.S. Have ever been tested for toxicity.”

- National Geographic October 2006 pg. 122

"Regulators have no health and safety data whatsoever on about 85 percent of the tens of thousands of industrial chemicals in widespread use." - Newsweek, April 26, 2010, p. 56


Cigarette smoke contains at least 109 toxic chemicals including: lead, mercury, arsenic, carbon monoxide, aluminum, hydrogen cyanide (gas chamber poison), and DDT/Dieldrin.

-Arizona Smokers’ Helpline

- http://www.ashline.org/cigarette_smoke.html

“Mothers who smoke during pregnancy may be increasing the odds that their children will eventually become criminals. Three recently published longitudinal studies have added to a growing body of evidence linking prenatal smoking with central nervous system damage, drug abuse, and behavior problems in children….. Those mothers who had smoked during pregnancy were more than twice as likely as the sons of nonsmokers to have committed a violent crime, or a series of nonviolent crimes as adults…. In (a different) study, the likelihood of son’s having committed a violent crime in adulthood increased in proportion to the number of cigarettes the mother had smoked during pregnancy”

-Family Therapy Networker Sept/Oct. 1999. pg. 12-13

“In a study released in June 2000, Dr. Needleman (a professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh) found that juvenile delinquents had significantly higher levels of lead in their bones than non-delinquent youths.”

- Jaquelyn McCandless - Children With Starving Brains, p. 23

“About one-third of attention deficit cases among U.S. children may be linked with tobacco smoke before birth or lead exposure afterwards....” - Tennessean 9-19-06 pg. 5A

Cigarette smoke and lead exposure are indicated as one cause of ADHD. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,214523,00.html

On 3-15-99 USA Today ran a story about a study that found "male children born to women who smoke during pregnancy run a risk of violent and criminal behavior that lasts well into adulthood, perhaps due to central nervous system damage...." (p. D4)

It says: "Mothers who smoked more than half a pack of cigarettes daily during pregnancy were significantly more likely to have a child with conduct disorder (odds ratio, 4.4; P = .001) than mothers who did not smoke during pregnancy. This association was statistically significant when controlling for socioeconomic status, maternal age, parental antisocial personality, substance abuse during pregnancy, and maladaptive parenting. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal smoking during pregnancy appears to be a robust independent risk factor for conduct disorder in male offspring. Maternal smoking during pregnancy may have direct adverse effects on the developing fetus or be a marker for a heretofore unmeasured characteristic of mothers that is of etiologic significance conduct disorder." http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/54/7/670


“Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system, especially among young children. In pregnant women, mercury can pass through the placenta and harm the fetus.”


“One in six U.S. Women of childbearing age have unsafe levels of mercury in their bodies for developing fetus, and 45 states want pregnant women to limit fish consumption from their waters.”

-National Wildlife Magazine Aug/Sept 2005 pg. 34

In the January 2012 Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency fish consumption advisory, there is a precautionary advisory for eating smallmouth bass from parts of the Duck River and largemouth bass from parts of the Buffalo River both due to mercury contamination. http://www.tnfish.org/ContaminantsInFishAdvisories_TWRA/FishFleshConsumptionAdvisories_TWRA.htm

“It looks as though being pregnant sort of protects the mother because the fetus takes up some of the mercury reducing the mother's exposure.”

- Bernard Weiss, Toxicologist at U. of Rochester in Nat. Wildlife Mag. June/July 1997 pg. 20

“For fetuses, infants and children, the primary health effects of mercury are on neurological development. Even low levels of mercury exposure such as result from mother's consumption methylmercury in dietary sources can adversely affect the brain and nervous system. Impacts on memory, attention, language and other skills have been found in children exposed to moderate levels in the womb.” (Note: Mercury is changed to the highly toxic methlymercury by bacteria in water.)

- http://heartspring.net/mercury_poison_symptoms.html .

“Plants that produce electricity from coal release 48 tons of mercury in the air each year....”

- Tennessean 3-16-05 Pg. 8A

“... coal-fired plants in the U.S. Produce 48 tons of mercury a year - 40% of the nation's total output, by some estimates.” (Nation's total would then be 240,000 pounds of mercury per year.)

- Time Magazine 9-11-06 pg. 68

In April 2005, the “Bush Administration announced weak mercury emissions standards for coal-fired power plants, the leading U.S. emitter of mercury. While states such as Massachusetts and New Hampshire are toughening their rules for the pollutant, the administration's new regulations will delay the national mercury reductions for several decades.”

- National Wildlife Magazine Aug/Sept 2005 pg. 34

“Amalgam dental fillings by weight are about 50% mercury.....”

- Tennessean 9-8-06 pg. 6A

“Dental fillings are an important source of mercury contamination. Amalgam fillings release microscopic particles and vapors of mercury. This shedding of mercury is increased by chewing and by drinking hot liquids. Those vapors are absorbed by tooth roots, mucous membranes of the mouth and gums and are inhaled and swallowed, thereby reaching the esophagus, stomach, and intestine. University of Calgary researchers report 10% of amalgam mercury eventually accumulates in body organs.”

- Jaquelyn McCandless M.D. - Children With Starving Brains, p. 58

“... people with amalgam fillings have four to five times as much mercury in their blood and urine as people without such filings.”

- Jaquelyn McCandless M.D. - Children With Starving Brains, p. 58


“Sexual development in the growing fetus may be as sensitive as the brain to the toxic effects. When certain chemicals bind to hormone receptors, they can interfere with the work of natural hormones in signaling the body to develop male and female organs. When that happens, studies in the laboratory and in the wild have shown that any number of reproductive disorders can result. These chemicals include PCB's, dioxins and many pesticides.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 25

“A recent study finds that babies come into this world pre-polluted, with an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in the umbilical cord blood.”

- Tennessean 8-23-05 pg. 1D

“Not only are kids' metabolisms faster than those of adults, babies don't excrete contaminants or store them away in fat the same way adults do. That means babies get continuous exposure at a time when all of their organs, including their brains are still developing.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 24

“In an adult, the blood brain barrier insulates the brain from many of the potentially harmful chemicals circulating through the body. But in a human child, that barrier isn't fully developed until six months after birth.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 24

“A key finding was that children have higher levels of many industrial chemicals than adults do. That is especially troubling because of the sensitivity and vulnerability of children.” (Report cited is the Center for Disease Control's “National Report of Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals.)

- Tennessean 8-12-03 pg. 8D

“Not only can the young get heftier proportional doses of pollutants because of their small sizes and fast metabolisms, the exposures can also impede development of rapidly growing bodies.”

-National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 19

“Not long ago, scientists considered cancer to be the main threat from exposure to toxics. Now there is a new understanding that poisons can affect the young's immune systems, brains and reproductive organs – again, not only in wildlife, but in humans.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 20

“Because women mobilize a lot of body fat during pregnancy to provide nourishment for their growing babies, the contaminants in their fat are passed to the children....”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 24

Car pollution inhaled by pregnant women is linked to ADHD:




“For every girl affected (with autism, Asperger’s disorder, or Pediatric developmental delay) three to seven boys were ....”

- USA Today Feb. 9-11, 2007 edition, pg. 1A

Boys diagnosed with ADHD outnumber girls by a 3:1 ratio.

- Nelson & Israel – Behavior Disorders of Childhood (6th Ed)

“... a boy is four times more likely to be referred to a school psychologist than is a girl.” - Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson in Raising Cain, p. 32

“Yet even though many health statistics have been improving over the past few decades, a few illnesses are rising mysteriously. From the early 1980's through the late 1990's, autism increased tenfold, from the early 1970's through the mid-1990's, one type of leukemia was up 62%, MALE birth defects doubles, and childhood brain cancer was up 40%. Some experts suspect a link to the man-made chemicals that pervade our food, water, and air. There's little firm evidence. But, over the years, one chemical after another that was thought to be harmless turned out otherwise once the facts were in.”

- National Geographic October 2006 pg. 122

“... in Western Minnesota – where wheat, sugar beet and potato farmers rely on insecticides, herbicides and other pesticides to protect their crops – children of farm families had significantly higher rates of birth defects than the state's general population.

The highest rates were among children conceived in the spring when spraying was most intense. And researchers found another oddity: male babies had far more birth defects than girls.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 20

In 1979 there was an explosion in Seveso, Italy. Dioxin spewed into the environment. Two weeks later 755 people were evacuated. In the following 8 years, the women of that area gave birth to 48 girls and 26 boys. “The parents with the highest levels of dioxin had daughters, but no sons at all. Perhaps, theorized University of Milan clinical pathologist Paolo Mocarelli last fall in the British medical journal The Lancelot, dioxin interferes with hormonal balances in developing embryos, either making normal male growth impossible or killing males.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 18

“In 1980, the double crested cormorants of the Great Lakes of the United States were being born with crossed bills. “Hatchlings with the deformity were almost always female, and scientists speculate the same chemical that caused the crossed bill also were killing the males before they hatched.”

- National Wildlife Magazine June/July 1997 pg. 18

(Okay, this isn't talking about humans, but I found it interesting that once again it was males that were being most adversely affected by pollution.)

“The 9/11 attacks have had myriad long-term consequences for Americans across the country. But the aftermath of the 2001 tragedy took a surprising toll on pregnant women -- by causing them to miscarry a disproportionate number of male fetuses.”…. “Experts speculate that male fetuses are more sensitive to female stress hormones. When a pregnant woman experiences some sort of crisis -- whether personal or not -- her male baby is more vulnerable to be miscarried.”

- http://www.aolnews.com/science/article/study-finds-more-male-babies-miscarried-in-aftermath-of-911-terror-attacks/19488786

Doug Muha Ed.S.

School Counselor

Waverly Elementary School