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Pediatr Nurs. 2006 Nov-Dec;32(6):596-603.

In-home toxic chemical exposures and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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  • 1Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, College of Nursing, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, USA.


Despite the focus on preventing toxic chemical exposures during pregnancy, the perinatal period, and childhood, health professionals have given little attention to the risks and effects of toxic chemical exposures on children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (DD). Children with DD may be at higher risk due to behaviors that persist past a developmentally appropriate age, communication skills, motor skills, nutrition issues, and health problems related to DD. This article examines exposure of children to lead, mercury, and environmental tobacco smoke, three toxicants known to affect children's health and development. The authors identify sources of these toxicants, examine research documenting their effects on children, consider strategies to prevent and manage exposure, identify characteristics and behaviors placing children with DD at increased risk of exposure, and discuss implications for health providers.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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