Navigation Links
Environment key to preventing childhood disabilities
Date:5/1/2012

The United States government would get a better bang for its health-care buck in managing the country's most prevalent childhood disabilities if it invested more in eliminating socio-environmental risk factors than in developing medicines.

That's the key conclusion of Prevention of Disability in Children: Elevating the Role of Environment, a new paper co-authored by a Simon Fraser University researcher. The paper is in the May issue of the Future of the Children journal, which is produced by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.

"Our conclusions may sound obvious or benign, but they may also be viewed as medical heresy," says Bruce Lanphear, the study's SFU co-author. The health scientist was also involved in studies showing that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.

"Most of us are convinced that we will solve our health care problems by investing in genetic research, stem cell research and drugs. But, with the exception of vaccines and antibiotics, the best that can be achieved by clinical intervention is enhanced treatment or early detection. It will not prevent disease."

Citing an American economic analysis of environmental hazards, the authors note that the cost of disease from exposure to pollutants linked with asthma, cancer and neurobehavioral disorders in a single year is $76 billion.

Another study "estimated a total potential net savings from the elimination of lead hazards, of $118 billion to $269 billion."

Referencing numerous studies, the authors track how declining infections and rising prenatal and childhood exposure to environmental toxins is "shifting the burden of illness among children and adults from infectious to chronic diseases."

Even so-called safe levels of toxins are now linked to chronic diseases.

As examples of rising incidents of childhood disabilities resulting from exposure to a wide range of environmental contaminants, including junk food and tobacco, the authors cite the following:

"the number of children diagnosed with an activity limitation stemming from a chronic health condition rose from 1.8 per cent in 1960 to 7.3 per cent in 2006, while the prevalence of diagnosed developmental disabilities rose from 12.8 per cent in 1997-99 to 15 per cent in 2006-08."

Toxins, such as airborne pollutants, lead, tobacco, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as suspected ones, such as organophosphate pesticides and bisphenol A, are combining to increase the incidence of prevalent childhood disabilities.

Asthma, obesity, mental illness and neuro-behavioural problems, such as ADHD and autism, are among these disabilities.

Asked how much this portrait of American childhood disability linked to environmental contamination is representative of Canada, Lanphear says: "The levels of exposures to airborne pollutants, lead, BPA and other chemicals are comparable or slightly lower in Canada than the U.S.

"Canada's surveillance for these neurodevelopmental disabilities is too insufficient to say anything about their national prevalence or whether the incidence of ADHD and autism is increasing. But the overall pattern for these disabilities is quite similar in Canada."

That being said, the authors recommend using Vancouver, British Columbia as a model for creating healthy cities of the future.

"We have low levels of air pollution for a large city," says Lanphear. "We also have low smoking rates, few highways that fragment the city, which encourages exercise, low levels of lead and a closed water system with pristine land to collect water. Our government leaders are also strongly committed to making Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2010. Although there is much to do, it gives me great comfort to raise a family in Vancouver."


'/>"/>

Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Go Wild with Blinds Retailer Tuiss.co.uk and Environmental Charity Landlife
2. Firmex Achieves 237% Annual Revenue Growth Despite Tough M&A Environment in 2009
3. Sunquest Introduces Integrated Clinical Environment Physician Portal Solution in US
4. MIT's Center for Transportation & Logistics Announces new Environmental Performance Consortium at Annual Crossroads Conference
5. Genes, environment, or chance?
6. UCLA study reveals how genes interact with their environment to cause disease
7. GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Revamps Web Site
8. Temecula Environmental Groups & City to Honor "Avatar" Director James Cameron with First Ever Environmental Media Award
9. Green Genius Biodegradable Plastic Trash Bags Become First And Only Trash Bag Validated As Biodegradable By UL Environment
10. PepsiCo Unveils Global Nutrition, Environment and Workplace Goals
11. Five Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for a family ... for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , “What this ... often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell Vieira, owner ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out ... free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting ... children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology ... Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The company has developed a ... and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to Adults 50+, every formula has been ... standard. , These products are also: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Soy Free, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should take ... communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut , ... through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease Control ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health ... development. "In an ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Fla. , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens ... company formed by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime ... its new brand, which included the unveiling of new ... , as well as at a few other ... the new brand to patients, some of whom will ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: