Toxins and Pollution

  • Eric TaylorEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


This chapter describes the major hazards in the physical environment that alter the development of the brain and predispose to mental disorders. Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are often associated. Industrial pollution with heavy metals, exposure to insecticides and other chemicals, and early influences of tobacco, alcohol, and certain drugs have all been implicated. Some individuals are predisposed (e.g., by genetic constitution) to adverse reactions to substances in an ordinary diet, including artificial dyes and additives, and to recreational substances such as cannabis. Selective deficiencies of some micronutrients can also have harmful effects and are described here. Clinical implications are drawn out.


Toxins Insecticides Lead Mercury Allergens Pollution Early adversity Neurodevelopment Epidemiological designs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eric Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Institute of PsychiatryKing's College LondonLondonUK

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