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A project of the Learning Disabilities Association of America

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Contact The Healthy Children Project

Healthy Children Project is a project of the
Learning Disabilities Association of America


, Director
Phone: (888) 300-6710
 

Welcome!

In 2002, the Learning Disabilities Association of America created the Healthy Children Project to:

  • Raise awareness of environmental factors, particularly toxic chemicals, that can harm brain development, contributing to learning disabilities and behavior disorders.
  • Promote policies and practices to prevent toxic chemical exposures, especially among pregnant women and children.
  • Build a nationwide network of LDA members working to protect children’s health and reduce toxic exposures that may lead to learning disabilities in current and future generations.

According to a 2011 report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 6 American children were diagnosed with a learning or developmental disability in 2008. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that environmental factors, including toxic chemicals, cause or contribute to at least a quarter of learning and developmental disabilities in American children. In recent decades, scientists have learned that the developing human brain is much more susceptible to toxic substances than the adult brain, and that certain chemicals can have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe.

Children More at Risk from Toxic Chemicals

Children are not “little adults.” Their developing brains and bodies, their metabolism and behaviors make them uniquely vulnerable to harm from toxic chemicals.

Exposure begins in the womb through the mother's exposures to toxic chemicals. Infants ingest chemicals through breast milk, formula and contact with their environment.

Rapid brain development in the fetus, infants and young children make them more susceptible to harm from chemicals that may impair brain function and development.

For their weight, children eat, drink and breathe more than adults—so pound for pound, they take in a greater quantity of toxic contaminants. A small exposure translates into a big dose.

Children put things in their mouths and spend a lot of time on the floor and ground, so they may ingest chemicals from toys, containers, dirt and dust on a regular basis.

 

News & Highlights

LDA Leaders Participate in National Stroller Brigade, Meet with U.S. Senators in D.C.

LDA representatives from nine states joined several hundred moms, health advocates, and cancer survivors on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to rally in support of the Safe Chemicals Act--legislation that would require that chemicals are tested for health effects and safety before being used in products. U.S. Senators Lautenberg, Durbin, and Schumer gave remarks at the event, which was widely covered in the media. Read coverage of this event in the Huffington Post. Learn more about how LDA state affiliates take action on Children's Environmental Health.

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Environmental Causes of Autism

A team of researchers with NIH published “A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disabilities,” an important article calling for a national scientific focus on environmental contributors to learning and developmental disabilities. The article names a Top 10 list of chemicals “widely distributed in the environment that are already suspected of causing developmental neurotoxicity.” Read the article

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Chemical safety bill has diverse support

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial on the Safe Chemicals Act written by HCP Director Maureen Swanson and co-authored by Dr. Rebecca Roberts, who studies endocrine disrupting chemicals and the immune system. Read the article

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LDA National Conference 2013

In conjunction with its 2013 conference in San Antonio (Feb 13-16), LDA is pleased to present an evening forum, “Brain Food: How Nutrition, Chemical Exposures and Genetics Interact, and Steps Schools Can Take to Protect and Nurture Children’s Development.” Watch for updates on forum speakers, related materials and registration.

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Healthy Children Project Healthy Children Project, a project of the
Learning Disabilities Association of America | National OfficeLearning Disabilities Association of America
4156 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1349
Phone: (888) 300-6710
Fax: (412) 344-0224
, Director
Funded by the John Merck Fund and the Heinz Endowments
© 2008-2011 HCP