Chronic, Complex Conditions: Academic and Clinical Perspectives, by Dr. John Molot, MD FCFP, 2013

As Dr. John Molot notes, ‘Children, from embryo to the completion of adolescence, are often at a different and increased risk from environmental contaminants compared to adults because of differences in behavior and physiology. The have greater exposures relative to adults, immature detoxification systems, and still-maturing organ systems.

Dr. Molot goes on to say: ‘There has been a significant rise in chronic complex conditions in childhood. The number of children with developmental disabilities has increased by 17% over the last decade so that now one child in six is being diagnosed with one of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHC), cerebral paly, autistic spectrum disorder, seizures, stammering or stuttering, mental retardation, moderate to profound hearing loss, blindness or learning disorders.’

He cites two studies by the Environmental Working group, ‘of 10 American, Canadian and Dutch newborn babies in 2005 and 2009, in which they measured the chemicals found in cord blood. In both studies, they found well over 200 chemicals in the newborn babies’ circulation. More than 400 publications are available in the U.S. National Library of Medicine which confirms the presence of pollutants in newborn children. Sources of contaminants include outdoor and indoor air, food, water and consumer products.’

He goes on to discuss the findings of a report, available on our resources page. ‘In 2011, the Canadian Environmental Lay Association, the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the Environmental Health Institute of Canada published an extensive scoping review of the literature. Their main findings were that there is increasing scientific confirmation for the role of early life (in utero and peri-natal) exposures to environmental contaminants and a lifelong vulnerability to chronic disease.