Friday, March 21, 2014

Here we go again

Those of us who get irritated at media coverage of the chemical industry will be especially excited with this coverage from The Atlantic Monthly of Landrigan and Grandjean's latest publication in The Lancet Neurobiology, titled "Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity." Here's those authors' list of bad compounds:
In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants—manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. 
Here's how The Atlantic has chosen to illustrate them:

Within the article, Landrigan suggests that fluoride should not be taken out of toothpaste, but I doubt that's going to be noted by those sharing this article on Facebook. Also, who's going to tell them about the typos in the top graphic, and this one?: 

Also, I am terribly amused that ethanol is listed as a neurotoxicant, and yet the article does not touch on it at all. You can imagine America saying "FROM MY ICY COLD, DEAD HANDS." 


  1. Perhaps the polychlorolrorlolrororoinated biphenyls came after too many martinis.

  2. FYI, and relevant to the topics you post about.

    More On the Disposable Tech Worker (

  3. It says "developmental' neurotoxin, and I hope people aren't buying whiskey shots for pregnant women.

    1. Good point!

      (The folk wisdom around whether pregnant women can drink alcohol is quite strong, incidentally.)

    2. There was a NPR story done on this.
      If I remember correctly, even if evidence would suggest that in very moderate amounts (a glass a week), there would not be any detectable detrimental effects, no doctor would be quoted saying so, for fear of repercussions - especially in the US court system.

  4. Why worry about the toxins here, it's the toxins from imported chinese goods we need to worry about, loo. There has to be a reason why their goods are cheaper after all.

  5. Carbon copy paper? Are they serious? Where did they get that example, from something written in 1980? Is carbon paper even manufactured any more?

  6. Yum, who wants a nice glass of arsenic?