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Why children are at higher risk

MagazineMay 2002 (Vol. 13 Issue 2)Why children are at higher risk

Children differ from adults in a number of ways and these can lead to increased susceptibility to toxins:

Children differ from adults in a number of ways and these can lead to increased susceptibility to toxins:

Many parts of their bodies, for example, their brain, bones and reproductive organs, are still developing.
* During this stage, they may be more susceptible to the alterations caused by toxins
* Their bodies have a less developed ability to break down toxins
* They crawl around on the floor near dust and other potentially toxic particles
* They are more likely to put things in their mouths and eat things that they shouldn't
* They eat, drink and breathe more for their weight than do adults. This means that they take in more toxins per kilo than adults. The air intake of a resting infant, for instance, is twice that of an adult under the same conditions.
* Children's bodies may also have less capacity to repair damage. In addition, the developing fetus is extremely sensitive to toxic chemicals. This is because the development of the body is completely dependent on the complex interactions of signalling chemicals (hormones). Disruption of these signals can permanently damage the body's development.


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