Toxic Exposures: The Main Cause of Childhood Neurological Conditions Affecting Millions    B. Windham


          Childhood neurological conditions have shown sharp increases in the last decade affecting many millions(1-7,10), and approximately 50% of all children born have been found to have significant birth defects, neurological conditions such as ADD, other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), or chronic health problems related to neurological or immune disfunction(6).

The main causes of pervasive developmental disorders such as ADD, autism, dyslexia, learning disabilities, and depression have been found to be  hormone imbalances(27,28,3), neurotransmitter imbalances(1,3),  metabolic enzymatic blockages(3), and/or immune reactivity- mostly caused by past toxic exposures(1-10,25,31).   

            Exposure to toxic metals, dioxins, PCBs, and organochlorine or organophosphate pesticides/solvents are extremely common, and are all common causes of the hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances (1-5,9,10,13,14).   It is known that most infants have received exposures to mercury thimerosal preservative in vaccines at levels far above government health guidelines(3a).   A study at the U.S. CDC found "statistically significant associations" between certain neurologic developmental disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and autism with exposure to mercury from thimerosal‑containing vaccines before the age of 6 months(6b).  These exposures are documented to be major factors in learning disabilities, behavioral problems including juvenile delinquency, as well as teenage depression, suicidal thoughts, and aggression/violence (1-4,8-10,13,25,29,31).  

    .Mercury has been well documented to be an endocrine system disrupting chemical in animals and people, disrupting function of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, thymus gland, adrenal gland,  enzyme production processes, and many hormonal functions at very low levels of exposure(1-4,15,27,28,32) .  All of these are known to be causes of neurological conditions such as depression, ADD, learning disabilities, dyslexia, etc(1,28,32).     Mercury (both mercury vapor and organic mercury) rapidly crosses the blood brain barrier and is stored preferentially in the pituitary gland, thyroid gland,  hypothalamus, and occipital cortex in direct proportion to the number and extent of dental amalgam surfaces (2,28) and to the number of mercury thimerosal containing vaccines(1,3a).   Thus, mercury has a greater effect on the hormonal functions of these areas.   Studies have documented that mercury causes hypothyroidism, autoimmune thyroiditis and impairment of conversion of thyroid T4 hormone to the active T3 form (28,25,2).  Dental amalgam is the largest source of mercury in most people, and a major source in the water and fish.

According to survey tests, 8 to 10 % of untreated women were found to have thyroid imbalances so the actual level of hypothyroidism is higher commonly recognized (27,28).  Even larger percentages of women had elevated levels of antithyroglobulin(anti-TG) or antithyroid peroxidase antibody(anti-TP).  Studies indicate that slight imbalances of thyroid hormones in expectant mothers can cause permanent neuropsychiatric damage in the developing fetus (25-28) including learning disabilities, ADD, dyslexia.  .   Low first trimester levels of free T4 and positive levels of anti-TP antibodies in the mother during pregnancy have been found to result significantly reduces IQs (27,28).  Hypothyroidism is a well-documented cause of mental retardation.   Women with the highest levels of thyroid-stimulating-hormone (TSH) and lowest free levels of thyroxine 17 weeks into their pregnancies were significantly more likely to have children who tested at least one standard deviation below normal on an IQ test taken at age 8.  Based on study findings, maternal hypothyroidism appears to play a role in at least 15% of children whose IQs are more than 1 standard deviation below the mean along with ADD and other neurological conditions, totaling millions of children.    Another study of pregnant women who suffer from hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) found women with untreated thyroid deficiency were four-times more likely to have a child with a developmental disabilities like ADD and lower I.Q. (25,28).

 The pituitary gland controls many of the body’s endocrine system functions and secretes hormones that control most bodily processes, including the immune system and reproductive systems.  One study found mercury levels in the pituitary gland ranged from 6.3 to 77 ppb, while another found the mean level to be 30ppb- levels found to be neurotoxic and cytotoxic in animal studies (28,2).  Some of the effect on depression is related to mercury’s effect of reducing the level of posterior pituitary hormone(oxytocin).   Low levels of pituitary function are associated with depression and suicidal thoughts, and appear to be a major factor in suicide of teenagers and other vulnerable groups (28,2,4).  Amalgam fillings, nickel and gold crowns are major factors in reducing pituitary function (25,2,4).  Supplementary oxytocin extract has been found to alleviate many of these mood problems, along with replacement of metals in the mouth (2,4,28).  The normalization of pituitary function also often normalizes menstrual cycle problems, endometriosis, and increases fertility (28,4,2).

        Deficiencies of essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and lithium, Vitamin B6 and B12, essential fatty acids, and cellular level blockages or inhibition caused by toxic exposures of the enzymes needed to digest or convert certain proteins that are essential to the metabolic process are also documented to be factors in these conditions(1-5,32).     Based on many thousands of clinical cases followed by doctors who regularly treat these conditions, these conditions are testable and treatable, either by testing and treating the imbalances or reactivities, or by testing and treating the underlying toxic exposures (1-5).   Virtually 100 percent of children in the U.S. are known to have received toxic exposures to neurotoxic substances above the U.S. Government health guidelines (1-3,6,7).


    Toxic metals are documented by autopsy studies to commonly accumulate in the brain and hormonal glands, causing neurological damage, hormonal deficiencies and imbalances, as well as neurotransmitter imbalances and developmental effects (1-4,25,28,32). Common hormone deficiencies related to these conditions include pituitary, adrenal, hypothalamus, and thyroid (28).  These conditions are generally testable and treatable by elimination of exposure, detoxification, supplements or nasal sprays of hormone extracts, etc. and significant improvements in condition after treatment are common.      Toxic exposures are also documented to cause neurotransmitter imbalances, partially by causing deficiencies of the brain neurotransmitter precursor amino acids (GABA, Lysine, L-Glutamine, Tyrosine).  Tests are readily available and commonly prescribed by doctors who know how to test and treat these conditions, and supplementation of these and other essential minerals and essential fatty acids has been found to be effective in such circumstances(5,1-3.)  

Toxic metals are the most common and significant exposure of children and the general public with the majority documented to have significant exposures (7,1-3).  The most common exposure to children is from mercury thimerosal in vaccinations where cumulative exposures are documented to have commonly exceeded Government health guidelines(3a). Common additional exposures are from prenatal exposures to their mother and from breast milk due to maternal exposures along with exposures to lead from paint and plumbing, antimony from Scotch guard, arsenic from food and treated lumber, and nickel, cadmium, and aluminum from food and dental materials (1-3).  The most common exposure of adults is mercury from dental fillings and fish, and lead from paint and plumbing (1,2).     

     Another major factor in conditions like ADD, autism, schizophrenia, depression, etc. is the blockage or inhibition by toxics such as toxic metals of the enzymes needed to properly metabolize or utilize the amino acids like milk casein, wheat gluten, and sulfur compounds in amino acids such as cysteine(8,1-3).  Toxic metals form strong bonds with the hydroxyl radical in amino acids, blocking these enzymatic processes that are necessary to proper utilization of these amino acids as the basic factor in the ATP energy and metabolic processes.  This causes incomplete metabolization of such amino acids, resulting in high levels of neurotoxic metabolites such as beta-casamorphine in the blood which has effects similar to morphine, resulting in distraction, mania, etc.- depending on levels.  Clinical trials measuring these neurotoxic metabolites in the blood, and trials on avoidance of these amino acids with blocked enzymatic processes have confirmed these findings (1-3,8).  Thus, patients with such conditions are commonly advised by their doctors to avoid milk products, foods with gluten, and certain sulfur foods; this has been found to bring major improvements in these conditions along with elimination of exposure to the toxic exposures. 


     Mixed metals in the mouth such as amalgam dental fillings, metal crowns, and metal braces have been found to result in galvanic currents in the metals which drive the metals into the saliva and tissues of the oral cavity at high levels as well as systemically, with accumulations in the brain and hormonal glands(30,2). Mercury and nickel, which are highly toxic and known to commonly cause DNA damage and immune reactivity, as well as neurological conditions are often found at high levels in tests.   Thus, this is another source of the neurological conditions that these imbalances have been found to cause.  Government health agencies in other countries such as Health Canada and  amalgam manufacturers have warned against this practice, but it is still common in the U.S.(2)   These imbalances have been found to be factors in teenage depression, suicidal thoughts, delinquency, and violence(28,29,31,2).      Treatment of such conditions through elimination of exposure source and detoxification where necessary have been found to usually alleviate these imbalances and conditions (1-5).   


Exposure to pesticides and organochlorine chemicals is also documented to be common and to result in developmental and neurological conditions (10-13).  Women exposed to pesticides through agricultural or floricultural work have been documented to have significantly higher risk of children born with developmental defects and learning/behavioral disorders (10-13).   A study of preschool children found the group exposed to pesticides to have significant behavioral effects including increased aggression and violence (13)

    Dioxins are extremely toxic and affect the endocrine/hormonal/reproductive systems at very low exposures, and  along with PCBs and other related organochlorine chemicals are very widespread in the environment and food chain in all areas of the country.   They are found in the blood, semen, breast milk, and fatty tissues of humans throughout the country (14-19).  Infants receive the highest dose and are also the most vulnerable (14-24).  Both dioxins and PCBs disrupt the activity of thyroid hormones, which are essential for normal neurological growth and development (20,24,25). PCBs are distributed widely in the environment and cross the placenta to cause in utero injury to the developing brain (14-16,21-24). Development of the fetus is most sensitive and prenatal exposure results in developmental delays, impaired cognitive function, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorder (14-16,21-24,9).  Large numbers of people are being adversely affected by dioxins, PCBs, and other members of its chemical family, and very small levels of dioxin cause serious adverse health effects.  



(1)  B.Windham(Ed.), Cognitive and Behavioral Effects of Toxic Metals, 2018

      (over 150 medical study references)        

(2)  B.Windham(Ed.), Exposure Levels & Health Effects of Mercury/Amalgam Fillings and Results of Replacement of      Amalgam Fillings, 2002;  (over 1500 medical study references and over 60,000 clinical cases of dental amalgam replacement followed by doctors of chronic health conditions)

(3) B. Windham (Ed.), Neurological and Immune Reactive Conditions Affecting Kids: The mercury and toxic metal connection to neurological pervasive developmental disorders (autism, schizophrenia, dyslexia, ADD, childhood depression, learning disabilities, OCD, etc.) 


     and   immune conditions (eczema, lupus, asthma, and allergies); ,     


(4) Huggins HA, Levy,TE, Uniformed Consent: the hidden dangers in dental care, 1999, Hampton Roads Publishing Company Inc;

(5) Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab(medical lab-metals ,conditions), research pages on Depression, ADD, Autism, etc.(click on "by        condition"),;


MELISA LABS(immune reactivity-see  research pages),;  & Immunosciences Lab (immune reactivity, allergies- see research pages) ,    


(6) National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, Committee on Developmental Toxicology, Scientific Frontiers in Developmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment, June 1, 2000,   313 pages.; &  &  Dr Thomas Verstraeten,  US Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention, Summary Results: Vaccine Safety  Datalink Project ‑ a database of 400,000 children,  May 2000. 

(7) ATSDR/EPA Priority List for 2001: Top 20 Hazardous Substances, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease    Registry, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,;     & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Screening Young Children for Lead Poisoning,  Atlanta ,Ga.  1997;    & EPA spokesman, U.S.News & World Report, "In the Air that they Breathe", Science & News, 12-20-99.

(8) J.R. Cade et al, Univ. Of Florida,  Autism and schizophrenia linked to malfunctioning enzyme for milk protein digestion.  Autism, Mar 1999,

(9)   Rice DC,   Parallels between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Behavioral Deficits Produced by Neurotoxic Exposure in Monkeys.   Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 108,    Supplement 3, June 2000 

(10) B. Windham(Ed.), Health Effects of Pesticides, Annotated Bibliography, 2000,

 (over 100 medical study references)   

(11)  Faustman EM, Silbernagel SM, Ponce RA;. Mechanisms Underlying Children's Susceptibility         ,      to Environmental Toxicants.  Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 108, Supplement 1,

 March 2000;   & Weiss B. Pesticides as a source of developmental disabilities.  Ment Retard Dev Disabil 1997, 3:246-256; & Eskenazi B, Bradman A, Castorina R.  Exposures of children to organophosphate pesticides and their potential adverse health effects.  Environ Health Perspect 1996, 107(suppl3):409-419; &    Bell EM( UNC School of Public Health),Hertz‑Picciotto I,   and Beaumont JI,  Epidemiology, March 2001.

(12)  Porter WP, Jaeger JW, and Carlson IH, “Endocrine, immune, and behavioral effects of      aldicarb(carbamate), atrizine(triazine) and nitrate(fertilizer) mixtures at groundwater concentrations”, Toxicology and Industrial Health,  1999, 15(1&2):133-150; & Boyd CA, Weiler MH, Porter WP, “Behavioral and neurochemical changes associated with chronic exposure to low-level concentration  of pesticide mixtures”, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 30(3): 209-21; & Rachel’s Environment & Health Weekly, #648, Apr 29,1999.

(13) Guillette E et al, “An anthropological approach to the evaluation of preschool children exposed to       pesticides in Mexico”, Environmental Health perspectives, 106(6): 347-353.


(14) B. Windham(Ed.), "Health Effects of Dioxins, organochlorine chemicals, and other  endocrine disrupting chemicals",    annotated bibliography, 2002,  .(over 100 Gov’t & medical study references)

(15) Dr.TColborn(Ed.),Chemically Induced Alterations in Functional Development- The Human,   Wildlife Connection , Princeton Scientific Press, 1992   & T. Colborn et al,        "Developmental Effects          of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in Wildlife and Humans", Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol101, No5, Oct 1993;& T.Colborn et al, "Environmentally Induced Alterations in Development,  Environmental Health Perspectives, Supplement 4, May 1995.

(16)  T. Colborn et al, ‘Environmental Neurotoxic Effects: Protocols in Functional  Teratology, Toxicology and Industrial Health, 1998, Jan, 14(1-1):9-23.

(17) U.S. EPA, Health Assessment for 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and Related Compounds, Volume III, External Review Draft, August 1994(2000pages).

(18) U.S. EPA, Broadscan Analysis of Human Adipose Tissue, annual report,1987 ;  

 & M.J. DeVito et al, Environ Health Perspectives, 103(9): 820-831,1995.

(19) World Health Organization Environmental Health Series 34, "Levels of PCBs, PCDDs, and PCDFs       in Breast Milk", World Health Organization, Copenhagen.

(20) J.P. Hendricks et al, "Effects of Pre- and Postnatal Exposure to Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans on Human Neonatal Thyroid Hormone Concentrations", Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol 101, No 6, Nov 1993, p504-508; &  Lars Hagmar et al,  Plasma concentrations of persistent organochlorines in relation to thyrotropin and thyroid hormone levels in women.  International Archives of Occupational and Environmental  Health,  Volume 74 Issue 3 (2001) pp 184‑188 

(21) J.L. Jocobson et al, "Effects of in utero exposure to PCBs on cognitive  functioning in young children", Journal of Pediatrics, Vol 116, 1990,

(22) Patandin A et al, Effects of environmental exposure to PCBs and dioxins on cognitive abilities in Dutch children. J Pediatr 1999, 134:33-41; & J.L. Jacobson, S.W.Jacobson, Intellectual Impairment in Children Exposed to PCBs in utero.  N.EngJ.Med 1996, 335:783-89; 

(23) P.Hauser et al, “Prenatal Exposures to PCBs and Dioxins: Relation to  Learning, Attention and Behavior Problems”, Toxicology & Industrial health, 1998: 34:85-101.

(24)  Stewart P; Reihman J; Lonky E; Darvill T; Pagano J.   Prenatal PCB exposure and neonatal    behavioral. Neurotoxicol Teratol 2000 Jan‑Feb;22(1):21‑9; & Susan P. Porterfield.   Thyroidal Dysfunction and Environmental Chemicals‑‑Potential Impact on Brain Development; Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 108, Supplement 3, June 2000            .

(25) Allan WC, Haddow JE, Palomaki GE, Williams JR, Mitchell ML, Hermos RJ, Faix JD, Klein RZ. Maternal thyroid deficiency and pregnancy complications: implications for population screening. J Med Screen.        2000;7(3):127-30; & J.Kawada et al, “Effects of inorganic and methyl mercury on thyroidal function”, J Pharmacobiodyn, 1980, 3(3):149-59; & Ghosh N.  Thyrotoxicity of cadmium and mercury.  Biomed Environ Sci 1992, 5(3): 236-40  &  Sterzl I, Prochazkova J, Stejskal VDM et al, Mercury and nickel allergy: risk factors in fatigue and autoimmunity.  Neuroendocrinology Letters 1999; 20:221-228.

(26) Bonar BD, McColgan B, Smith DF, Darke C, Guttridge MG, Williams H, Smyth PPA. Hypothyroidism and aging: the Rosses' survey. Thyroid 2000;10(9):821‑27;  &  Canaris GJ, Manowitz NR, Mayor G, Ridgway EC. The Colorado thyroid disease prevalence study. Arch Intern Med 2000 Feb 28;160(4):526‑34. 

(27)  Klein RZ, Sargent JD, Larsen PR, Waisbren Se, Haddow JE, Mitchell ML, Releation of severity of maternal hypothyroidism to cognitive development of offspring.  J Med Screen 2001: 8:18-20; & de Escobar DM, Orbregon MF, del Rey FE, Is neuropsychological development related to maternal hypothyroidism or to maternal hypothyroxinemia?  C Clin EndocrinMetab 2000; 3975-3987; & Thyroid Imbalances in Pregnancy Linked to Poor Child Neurodelopment, Great Smokies Diagnostic Lab ,

 Approx. 10% of women over 50 are hypothyroid.

(28) Cognitive and Developmental Effects Related to Mercury’s Endocrine System Disrupting Effects,

(29) The  Toxic Metal connection to ADD, Aggressiveness, Impulsivity, Violence, Delinquency, Criminality, and Mass murderers/Serial killers,      B. Windham(Ed.) Chemical Engineer,  

(30) The battery in your mouth: toxic exposures due to galvanic currents and EMF in mixed metals.


(31) Depression: the mercury and toxic exposure connection; B. Windham (Ed.)

(32) Mercury exposure, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic disruptions may affect learning in children,  Dufault R, Wallinga D, Crider R, et al;  Behavioral and Brain Functions 2009, 5:44 ;