The report states that children are most vulnerable to mercury exposure, whether exposed in utero or as young children. Mercury affects the developing brain, causing neurological problems that manifest themselves as vision and hearing difficulties, delays in the development of motor skills and language acquisition, and later, lowered IQ points, problems with memory and attention deficits. These developmental deficits may translate into a wide range of learning difficulties once children are in school.
The physical changes that occur in the developing brain due to mercury exposure during pregnancy are described along with how these changes later translate into learning difficulties in school. The report estimates the societal and economic impacts of mercury exposure in terms of the cost of special education in the U.S. and the societal benefits of reducing mercury emissions.
The information in this report is timely. Numerous policy options are being considered by state, federal and international lawmakers to reduce mercury emissions to the environment. The reports' authors recommend stringent regulations, implemented as quickly as possible, be enacted to help reduce the level of mercury exposure to children.
Parents' Guide -- Mercury and Learning Disabilities brochure. (310K)