In 2002, the Learning Disabilities Association of America created the Healthy Children Project to:
- raise awareness of toxic chemicals that can harm brain development, contributing to learning disabilities and behavior disorders.
- promote policies and provide guidance to prevent toxic chemical exposures, especially among pregnant women and children.
- build a nationwide network of LDA members working to protect children’s health and reduce toxic exposures that may lead to learning disabilities in current and future generations.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 6 American children have a learning or developmental disability. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that environmental factors, including toxic chemicals, cause or contribute to at least a quarter of learning and developmental disabilities in American children. Scientists have learned that the developing human brain is much more susceptible to toxic substances than the adult brain, and that even tiny amounts of certain chemicals can do lasting harm to the developing brain, at levels that were once thought to be safe.