Toxic Cocktail: How Chemical Pollution is Poisoning Our Brains

ISBN : 9780190260934

Barbara Demeneix
272 ページ
156 x 235 mm

In today's world, everyone carries in their bloodstream a toxic assortment of dozens of industrially produced chemicals. Not only do these adversely affect the health of adults and children, but also, and more worryingly, they damage the development of unborn infants; the amniotic fluid of pregnant women has been found to contain a variety of chemicals, such as pesticides, plasticizers, disinfectant products, flame-retardants, surfactants and UV filters, many of which interfere with fetal physiology. Toxic Cocktail: How Chemical Pollution Is Poisoning Our Brains makes a warning call to action. A single gland in our bodies, the thyroid, produces thyroid hormone vital for brain development, but many chemicals that we are exposed to are thyroid-disrupting. As the number of chemicals in the environment to which we, and, particularly, developing fetuses and toddlers, are exposed to inexorably rises, we simultaneously witnessing an unprecedented increase in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and IQ loss. The urgent question thus arises: Is chemical pollution poisoning brain development? And if so, as this book convincingly shows, what can be done about it collectively and individually? Toxic Cocktail explains the developmental processes and chemical disruption associated with thyroid hormone, discusses recent activity for environmental regulations and industrial lobbying in the United States and European Union, and makes pertinent suggestions for legislators and individuals-providing a "self-help " guide-for reducing exposure and limiting the dangerous effects of the multitude of chemicals on brain development. Toxic Cocktail is an engaging read for parents, general readers, and professionals in the health and education sectors.


1. Violet Vapors
2. A Molecule of Mystery
3. Thyroids in a Chemical Soup
4. Losing it: Undoing Brain Evolution
5. The Alarming Increase in Autism
6. From DNA to Epigenetics
7. Counting the Costs
8. Who Really Picks Up the Bill?
9. Time to Act. How to Act


Barbara Demeneix is an internationally recognized expert on thyroid function and brain development. She acts as an expert for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the field of endocrine disruption, notably for chemicals affecting thyroid hormone function. In 2014 Demeneix received the CNRS Medal of Innovation and was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honneur. She has authored over 150 scientific publications and patents, including Losing Our Minds: How Environmental Pollution Impairs Human Intelligence and Mental Health (OUP 2013). She trained and worked in the UK, France, Canada and Germany, and currently serves as Professor of Comparative Physiology and Head of Department at the National History Museum in Paris, France.