How Chemical Brain Drain started
We are witnessing a paradigm change. The brain is our most complex organ, and it is uniquely sensitive to chemical exposures. While toxic chemicals may cause an increased risk of brain disease, the main effect is more subtle – a variety of functional deficits and behavioral abnormalities. They occur more commonly and at more serious degrees at higher exposures to a growing number of industrial chemicals – exposures that are entirely preventable. We are now beginning to understand that optimal brain development is crucial for ourselves and for society.
While compiling this new understanding in a book – “Only One Chance” – it became clear that new information was emerging at an increasing rate, and that the book could only capture the developing insights up to the beginning of 2013. Some means of extending the information already available would be needed. At the same time, a forum for debate, comments and news would be important to call attention to the need for prevention against chemical brain drain.
Website editor and book author: Philippe Grandjean, MD
Philippe Grandjean was born in Denmark in 1950 and graduated as an MD from the University of Copenhagen at age 23, and 6 years later defended his doctoral thesis on ‘Widening perspectives of lead toxicity’. He became Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark in 1982. A Fulbright Senior Scholarship brought him to Mt.Sinai Hospital in New York and he later served as Adjunct Professor of Neurology and Environmental Health at Boston University. In 2003, he became Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard University. In 2004, he received an unusual recognition – the Mercury Madness Award for excellence in science in the public interest, from eight US environmental organizations. In 2012, he received the science communication award from the University of Southern Denmark. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and in Cambridge, MA, and travels widely to study environmental problems and to examine children whose lives have been affected by pollution. His research has been supported by the US National Institutes of Health, the European Commission,and the Danish research councils. Grandjean is the toxicology adviser to the Danish National Board of Health and has served in this function for over 25 years.
In collaboration with Chief Physician Pál Weihe and international colleagues, an intense research effort at the Faroe Islands has included over 2,000 children so far
See publications by Grandjean P at the website of the National Library of Medicine (PubMed)
Editor of the web-based scientific journal Environmental Health
Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health at Harvard School of Public Health
Professor and Head of Research, Environmental Medicine, at University of Southern Denmark