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Toxicology. 2000 Apr 3;144(1-3):121-7.

Toxicologic evidence of developmental neurotoxicity of environmental chemicals.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, Odense University, Winslowparken 17, DK-5000, Odense, Denmark.


Developmental neurotoxicity constitutes effects occurring in the offspring primarily as a result of exposure of the mother during pregnancy and lactation. To exert their effect, these chemicals or their metabolites must pass the placenta and/or the blood-brain barrier. In experimental animals, exposure to neurotoxic chemicals during critical periods of brain development has induced permanent functional disturbances in the CNS. Although available data suggest that proper animal models exist, only few chemicals have been tested. Neurotoxicity testing is not required by national authorities for classification of chemicals. Epidemiological evidence is very limited, but severe irreversible effects have been observed in humans following in utero exposures to a few known developmental neurotoxicants. The large number of chemicals with a potential for developmental neurotoxicity in humans stresses the importance of generating basic kinetic data on these chemicals based on relevant experimental models. First of all, data are needed on their ability to pass the placenta and the developing blood-brain barrier, to accumulate, and to be metabolized in the placenta and/or the fetus. These kinetic data will be essential in establishing a scientifically based hazard evaluation and risk assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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