Toxic Chemicals, Nutrition, and Child Development

Healthy Children Project

by Maureen Swanson, Healthy Children Project Director



Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto is one of the world’s leading experts on how environmental exposures to metals, pesticides, air pollutants and endocrine disrupting chemicals can interact with nutrition to have an impact on pregnancy, the newborn and child development.

Her research, resulting in more than 200 peer-reviewed articles on the relationships between environmental exposures and neurodevelopmental disorders, has been featured in a PBS NewsHour series with Robert MacNeil. Her Program on Environmental Epidemiology of Autism and Neurodevelopment, centered at the UC Davis MIND Institute, has generated more clues regarding specific, modifiable factors contributing to the increase in the incidence of autism than nearly all such programs worldwide combined.

LDA is pleased to invite everyone to a special evening event featuring Dr. Hertz-Picciotto on Wednesday, February 19 at the national conference in Anaheim. Dr. Hertz-Picciotto will speak on Chemicals in Our Environment and Their Effects on Child Behavioral, Social, and Intellectual Development.

With this special event, LDA continues to provide members with cutting edge information on the interactions between food, chemical exposures, brain development and learning. Last year’s special event featuring Dr. Renee Dufault on ways that high fructose corn syrup and chemical exposures can contribute to problems with behavior and learning, was a standing-room only highlight of the conference. Again this year, attendees can expect to discuss the latest scientific findings, along with applicable ways to reduce toxic exposures and promote nutritious eating to protect young minds and bodies.

Dr. Hertz-Picciotto’s expertise lies not only in the lab, but is also “hands-on” in terms of interacting with families and children. She directs several large, comprehensive ongoing studies of environmental factors contributing to autism, and also leads a study that has been examining, from birth onwards, children living near a chemical manufacturing plant that produced PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) for decades.

Dr. Hertz-Picciotto is section chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine. In August 2013, she was appointed to a prestigious scientific review committee of the National Institutes of Health. She also chaired the two National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine panels on Agent Orange and Vietnam Veterans and a recent one on Breast Cancer and the Environment.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from an internationally renowned expert on ways in which chemical exposures and nutrition can affect pregnancies and neurodevelopment. Please register today for the Wednesday evening special event from 7 to 9 p.m. on February 19, 2014.

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