New Scientific Understanding of Chemicals Health Effects

As discussed elsewhere in this book, scientists increasingly understand that it is not only the dose that makes the poison, but also the timing of the dose. There is also rising appreciation for the special vulnerability of certain subpopulations, for example, infants, children, and the developing fetus. Awareness is growing that exposures in the womb can contribute to irreversible health effects, including compromised learning abilities and enhanced susceptibility to certain cancers. Even though there continues to be scientific debate about some of these findings, the markets for chemicals previously regarded as safe or insufficiently tested for these effects are likely to be affected; reputations and financial bottom lines will be placed at risk.

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