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12 Neurotoxins That Put Our Brain Development in Danger

Are you aware of the dangers that exist around you? Your brain and your children’s brain at risk. Brains are ever developing, expanding with knowledge and growing new synapses in the ever evolving neuro network I like to call brain power.

But what happens if something interferes with that new brain development? Whether in a baby, a young child or an older person whose brain is still evolving? What happens if neurotoxic materials invade the body and the brain and cause damage?

You bet! The effects can be frightening, saddening and terribly life shattering depending on the neurotoxin. Next I will give you critical information for the brain health of both you and your family.


lead toxin

Lead is one of those toxins that I heard about a long time ago. Researchers and scientist figured out quite a few years ago that lead in paint was extremely dangerous. Though the United States banned the use of lead in paint and in gasoline, there are still avenues of exposure.

People can get exposed through paint in old houses, industry, some water sources, food and some old water pipes. Since lead does not degrade it gets absorbed into the soil and can therefore get into our food chain. Other places lead shows up are in cosmetics, hair dye, some paints and ceramics as well as various industries.

Exposure to lead has been proven to lead to a damaged brain and possibly to disorders such as mental retardation, behavior problems, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and more.


Mercury is another one of those nasty elemental components that can destroy lives. Beginning in the womb, the dangers of mercury ingestion can be detrimental. Depending on the type of mercury and the amount as well as exposure duration and route the degree of danger can vary. Age and health of the victim is also a factor.

mercury poisoning

Regardless though, exposure to mercury is bad, bad, bad. Fish contaminated with mercury is one of the most common exposure methods. Spills or breakage of mercury containing items is also an exposure risk.

Symptoms of exposure can range from skin rash to severe cognitive or neurological impairment. Vision and sensory impairments are also common. As you can see, this is a dangerous toxin.


Toluene is a neurotoxin that most of us are exposed to on a daily basis. Added to gasoline for improved octane ratings, many man-made fragrances, adhesives, ink and a variety of coatings, as well as being a solvent of paint, toluene is essentially everywhere.

It’s also used in many plastics like soda bottles, nail products, dyes and some pharmaceuticals. When I figured out how broad spread this is, it was frightening.

Toluene can cause a range of symptoms. Everything from fatigue, headaches and nausea to stuff like a swollen liver and lung hemorrhaging. Kidney and heart problems can also be an issue. So, it’s easy enough to see you don’t want to be exposed, but it’s hard to avoid. So you want to get it out of your system, if possible.


Methanol is sometimes called methyl alcohol. When people are exposed to methanol it can be absorbed in many ways. Once this stuff gets inside your body it turns into formaldehyde. As you might guess, this is some bad stuff.

methanol toxic

Some of the symptoms that people often have are asthmatic problems, headaches, fatigue, sleep problems and stomach problems. There are more symptoms of course, but those are some of the biggies.

I’ve learned about the exposure to methanol and it’s ridiculous. Although there are other ways to get exposed, the most common by far is us putting this stuff in your own mouth. Uggh, that’s disgusting. I’ve just learned when eating or drinking anything with aspartame in it, that will turn into methanol. That’s just nasty folks.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls

Another horrible neurotoxin is polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Although these were banned in the United States nearly 30 years ago, there are still many contaminated sites and areas.

This particular neurotoxin has been classified as a potential carcinogen (may cause cancer) and associated with many other health issues such as reproductive problems, immune problems, learning difficulties and more.

One of the biggest problems is this stuff doesn’t break down and go away. It hangs around in the environment for a long, long time. This leads to it getting into the food chain via water runoff and growth of foods. Fish can be a high contaminant food also.


Arsenic is another toxin that is difficult to completely avoid. Because it is naturally present in the earl, there is risk of coming into contact with it. There are certain areas of the world where arsenic is a higher risk, but testing of groundwater for inorganic arsenic is the key protective methodology.

Groundwater is contaminated through things like volcanic activity, mining, pesticides, smelting and other activities. These contaminations lead to exposure to inorganic arsenic which is a known cancer causing agent.


Phthalates kind of seems like a funny word. I don’t know that I’d want to have to pronounce it as much as avoid it. This one is a little scary too because it is so broad spread into those everyday things that we all use so commonly without thinking.

The smell good stuff like colognes and perfume are usually toxic. Up to 95% of the chemicals in these are synthetic petrochemicals. These are neurotoxic as well as having other potentially bad effects.

Hormonal and genetic damages can occur with phthalate exposure. The actual genetics in sperm can be altered and lead to birth defects in male babies. If a baby boy is nursing from an exposed mother the contaminated breast milk can lead to abnormal hormone levels in the babies.

Other health issues often associated with phthalates are respiratory problems, auto immune diseases and lupus and severe effects on those with other chronic illnesses.


I once heard someone tell me that dry cleaning my clothes could kill me, but I never understood until much later. When products such as tetrachloroethylene (PERC) are heated they can leave to severe problems.

Some of the least severe issues from PERC are skin irritation, eye irritation and respiratory issues. However, the respiratory can become much more serious. Other serious potential effects are liver issues and many neuro toxic effects such as headache, mood changes, and fatigue and memory impairment. These symptoms can worsen and lead to issues such as impaired coordination and poor brain function as well as peripheral neuropathy.

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) are added to many products in areas such as fabrics, foam and plastics to decrease their flammability. These neurotoxins may also be present in wire insulation and in most automobiles.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has raised much concern over (PBDEs) due to the increasing evidence that these are bioaccumulative and shown to be toxic to both the environment and humans causing neurobehavioral problems and ecotoxicity.


Fluoride has long been a fight amongst various professionals. One side can’t see past the good it can bring while the other can’t see past the bad. You can help decide where you stand on this all by yourself.

Fluoride is believed to be beneficial for dental health. Professionals state it is good in helping people strengthen their teeth and fight tooth decay as well. So the sides don’t agree on how serious the health effects can be. One side believes fluoride is okay in our drinking water while the other says absolutely not, it should not be there.

This fight has been fought on many municipality levels and the battle rages onward. Whether fluoride is as bad or good as folks say it is, is definitely another question to be raised.


Chlorpyrifos is another insecticide used on many food and feed products. Processed wood, golf courses and vehicles may all have chlorpyrifos present. This neurotoxin is actually designed to attack the nervous system of the insects and lead to death.


Though infants and young children have been shown to be effected by chlorpyrifos, anyone can show effects of toxicity. Human exposure symptoms could be as simple as runny nose, watering eyes, nausea, increased sweat and saliva, etc. or as severe as severe anxiety, memory issues, depression and changes in behavior.


Phenols are found in many areas of our lives. Exposure can lead to neurologic effects as well as destruction of nerves. The exposure can occur via skin or inhalation. But you might wonder where you could or would be exposed so here we go.

Cleaners in your home often have phenols present in them. Bathroom spray cleaners, sore throat lozenges and mouthwash can all be avenues for contamination from phenols. Even foods have some levels of contamination in them. For instance, fried chicken, some fish and smoke summer sausage are all food contaminants with phenols.

Phenols can lead to everything from respiratory issues, burning eyes, liver problems or even to internal burns at higher levels of exposure. Though phenols may have some good medicinal properties for anesthetic or antiseptic properties, the risks are still weighed as very heavy for humans and the environment.


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So there you have it folks. I believe this is a quick rundown on twelve of the most common neurotoxin complaints. Stay well, stay healthy and stay away from neurotoxins.

If you liked our article, please share it and use the comment section below to tell us about your experiences or ask any questions. Thanks! 

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