Considerable evidence has highlighted the heightened susceptibility of developmental delay in children from low-income homes; consequently, this study explored whether environmental toxicant exposure may be a contributing factor to disruption in language and cognitive development for children reared in poverty. Using a sample of 190 low-income mothers and their young children, mothers completed questionnaires on toxicant exposure in the home environment. Exposure to toxicants, especially pesticides, was reported by about 20% of mothers at or around pregnancy, and 30% when their children were between 1 and 2 years of age. Toxicant exposure was significantly associated with lags in language and cognition even when controlling for socioeconomic factors. Study findings highlight the importance of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statements arguing for pediatricians to take a strong anticipatory guidance role in counseling parents to limit chemical exposure in the home and engage in safe storage practices.
- Business of Medicine
- Doctor’s Voice