Toxic Cocktail: How Chemical Pollution Is Poisoning Our Brains


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.4 X 1.2 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Barbara Demeneix is an internationally recognized expert on thyroid function and brain development. She acts as an expert for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Devlopment (OECD) in the field of endocrine disruption, notably for chemicals affecting thyroid hormone function. The author of over 150 scientific publications and patents, she trained and worked in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and Germany. In 2014, she was promoted to 'Officer' of the French Legion d'Honneur by the French government for her scientific achievements, having been appointed 'Chevalier' in 2004.


"The book should be of interest to anyone who would like to be aware of the threat of
endocrine-disrupting chemicals to our children's development. The basic science material addressing thyroid function and dysfunction is presented clearly and with good documentation...Toxic Cocktail is informative in its description of the scientific, political, and economic dimensions of governmental regulation."


"In a complex and changing world, it is not surprising that humans ignore subtle warning signs that predict danger. Psychological science has much to offer in explaining why people are often incapable of acting in their own self-interest, particularly in regard to life sustaining policies that concern global warming, environmental protection, and public health." -- PsycCRITIQUES

"The thyroid system has several qualities that make it an excellent choice for coverage. Toxic Cocktail beautifully illustrates the Goldilocks principle of endocrinology: the amount of hormone made by the gland must be just right for the body to function properly." --The Lancet

"Demeneix, a world-renowned expert on thyroid function and brain development, shares historical and current information about the effects of the human-made toxic mix on the thyroid, a hormone-producing gland involved with proper development and maintenance of the brain. Throughout the narrative, the author weaves the story of discovery of thyroid hormone importance, its disruption by toxic substances, and the impact of disruption on human health and behavior. She connects this to economic and emotional drains on health care, and concludes with a call to action. For those in search of real facts about the disregard of this endocrine disruption, this book will be an excellent place to start." --CHOICE

"Chemicals . . . either too little of one or too much of another . . . cause our kids' brains to be less than they can be. Sometimes way less. In a world in which cognitive ability is at the heart of economic competitiveness, among individuals, regions, and nations, this is a big deal. Many mistakes have been made in the past. Barbara Demeneix's brilliant new book lays out the science on why that does not have to be. Drink it deeply. Your kids, your communities, and your nations will be smarter, healthier, and wealthier if you act on her advice." --John Peterson Myers, PhD, CEO/Chief Scientist, Environmental Health Sciences

"This book by Professor Barbara Demeneix got me hooked immediately. Engaging descriptions of discoveries that led to the prevention of cretinism set the scene for understanding the role of today's chemical pollution in affecting brain development. Of concern are the rise in autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Professor Demeneix argues persuasively that chemicals capable of disrupting thyroid hormone action may play a role in the increased incidence of these disorders. I would like to thank Professor Demeneix for writing a book that can be readily understood by interested lay people as well as a good source of references for scientists like myself. This book deserves a wide audience and I enthusiastically recommend it." -Andreas Kortenkamp, PhD, Professor of Toxicology, Brunel University London, London, UK

"Barbara Demeneix forewarns of the crucial decisions before us that could well predict whether we lose the phenomenal progress made in advancing our children's health over the past two generations. She explains that thyroid hormone is vital for a child's brain development and how chemicals slowly and insidiously assault thyroid signaling during the prenatal period, reducing levels slightly and within the normal range, but enough to have lifelong consequences for learning and development. Demeneix skillfully describes the huge costs and consequences of this tragic error, which continues at the expense of our children and the profit of companies that choose not to manufacture safer alternatives." --Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine, and Health Policy, New York University