The physical environment in which children live, including the air they breathe and the water they drink, has a profound influence on their development. While children need many chemicals and nutrients to physically grow and develop normally, others, such as those deemed environmental toxins (e.g. pesticides, lead, mercury, and illicit substances) act instead as a threat to healthy development. These chemicals may have highly toxic effects, and while they are a threat to all individuals, they affect infants and children most severely. In order to provide an introduction to the issue of toxin exposure and mental health outcomes, to highlight the relevant evidence-based research, and to build a foundation for policy change, we present the following brief review of the literature.
McLeod, Dorothy L., "Children’s Exposure to Environmental Toxins: Socioeconomic Factors and Subsequent Effects on Mental Health and Function" (2017). Center for the Human Rights of Children. 13.
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