When pregnant, I was lucky enough to receive excellent prenatal care. Still, I was bombarded – and frankly, sometimes overwhelmed – with messages about what to do and what to avoid during pregnancy. And despite doing my best to comply with the prevailing guidance, my son was probably born – like most babies in the United States – with 200+ chemicals in his body.
As the US Senate begins consideration of the recently introduced Chemical Safety Improvement Act, I want them to think about the brain.
Most of us don’t think about our brains. It’s like thinking about our hearts beating or about the sun rising and setting each day.
The human brain develops in an incredibly intricate and elegantly orchestrated series of events. Brain cells (neurons) divide, migrate, differentiate and communicate. At birth, a baby’s brain has about 100 billion neurons that are in place and beginning to connect with each other, sending and receiving messages. The brain continues to grow and strengthen connections throughout childhood.
Wow. That’s a lot happening in just nine months. But that’s not the part I really want our Senators to think about.