12 Neurotoxins

Whether you are expecting, have welcomed a new baby to the house or are caring for growing kids, science has some bad news for parents.

Twelve airborne neurotoxins that can impair development, lower IQ and inhibit brain function have been identified, and apparently they are everywhere.

In one Harvard Medical School research paper, researchers estimated that exposure to just three of these neurotoxins is collectively responsible for a cumulative drop of 41 million IQ points in North American alone!

The 12 neurotoxins you are about to meet are now thought to be at least partially responsible for the exponential increase in developmental disorders ranging from ADHD to autism spectrum disorder.

In this post, we will tell you exactly what these 12 neurotoxins are, where they are most frequently encountered and how to take action to limit your children’s exposure – and your own.

Meet “The 12”: Potent Brain-Damaging Neurotoxins

These 12 neurotoxins are now also thought to be responsible for a number of brain-damaging health impacts in unborn infants, children and adults of all ages.

1. Manganese

Manganese is a trace mineral that is most frequently used to make soda cans and stainless steel. In an industrial setting, it reduces corrosion. In our bodies, it harms our brain.

2. Fluoride

Fluoride is a neurotoxin found in our water, toothpaste and many dental care products.

3. Chlorpyrifos

This potent insecticide is so toxic, its manufacturer was fined more than $700,000 by the EPA for causing 200+ poisoning incidents. Yet it is still being used all over the world today in ways that expose us through the foods we eat, the plants we grow, even the golf courses we visit.


DDT/DDE was once one of the most effective pesticides on the planet. Now it is banned but has become one of the most persistent neurotoxins polluting our planet.

5. Tetrachloroethylene (PERC) 

Perhaps the number one way you are exposed to PERC is through dry cleaning. Fabric finishers and many office supplies also contain this known neurotoxin.

6. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) 

Just some of the places you will find large concentrations of PBDEs include smart devices, television remotes, foam, fabrics and textiles, paints and adhesives.

7. Arsenic

Is there anyone today who doesn’t know arsenic is poison? Yet this naturally occurring element from the periodic chart is present in our drinking water (particularly well water), some foods (including rice), treated wood, pesticides, laser technology and metal alloys.

8. Lead

Lead may no longer be an ingredient in paint, children’s toys or gasoline (remember “leaded” versus “unleaded?”) but it is still very much present in our environment. All that lead leached into our soils and our water and is also a part of many older homes and commercial structures.

9. Mercury

The most common cause of mercury toxicity is twofold: dental amalgam fillings and eating mercury-poisoned seafood.

10. Toluene

Toluene is a common additive in vehicle fuels and is used for making plastic bottles – including the water bottles we drink from. Paints and adhesives often contain it as well.

11. Ethanol

From alcoholic beverages to ethanol-laced motor fuels, we can’t seem to get away from exposure to this neurotoxin.

12. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) 

PCBs are fire-retardants that are often added to home insulation products and engine coolant.

How to Protect Your Family from “The Terrible 12”

Scientists and health experts offer tips to protect yourself and your family from further exposure to the neurotoxins you just learned about.

Taking active steps to protect yourself is especially vital if you are currently pregnant, are lactating or are trying to conceive.

Eat organic produce

Experts say that simply switching your diet to all organic produce can potentially reduce your exposure to some neurotoxins (especially present or past pesticides) by up to 90 percent.

Don’t use pesticides or insecticides

Even though many of the pesticide-related neurotoxins on this list are not in use at all or as much today, it is still vital to find alternatives for your lawn and garden, your home and garage and your workplace.

Choose your home furnishings with care

Many home furnishings, including treated wood, carpet, upholstery, window treatments, mattresses and also DIY craft and home repair paints, glues and adhesives contain these and other toxic ingredients.

Have your indoor air quality tested

In just 72 hours, our silent, simple indoor air quality test will deliver the information you need to know about exactly what is polluting your indoor air and what to do about it.

Invest in indoor air duct cleaning

Air duct cleaning uses negative pressure with a vacuum seal to pull every bit of toxic matter out of your indoor air ducts, whether it be liquid, gaseous or solid.

At the end of the service, your newly sanitized air ducts will be ready to deliver your newly purified indoor air.

Install a heat recovery ventilator

Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) is so important for indoor air quality today that Ontario recently mandated HRVs be included in all new Toronto-area construction.

An HRV will ensure that the stale, toxic, humid air inside your space is consistently pushed outdoors, to be replaced with fresh, pure, oxygenated air.

Add an ultraviolet air purifier and a HEPA filter

Together, there is little in the way of air quality goals that a UV air purifier and a HEPA air filtration system cannot accomplish.

UV air purifiers work on liquid and gaseous matter while HEPA systems work on particulates as small as 1/100th of a single human hair.

Portable and whole-home units are available.

Get in Touch

Are you concerned about neurotoxins in your home or workplace? We can help!

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470.

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