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Toxicant and Disease Database

The CHE Toxicant and Disease Database is a searchable database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and approximately 180 human diseases or conditions. Diseases and or toxicants can be viewed by utilizing the search options below. See a full description of the database and its limitations.

See also CHE's compilation of other Databases and Resources

For questions or comments about the database, please contact Nancy Hepp through our Contact form.

Cognitive impairment (includes impaired learning, impaired memory, and decreased attention span) / mental retardation / developmental delay

Causes    Grouped by strength of evidence

Strong Evidence

carbon disulfide

cocaine

ethyl alcohol (ethanol)

lead

mercury

nicotine

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), not otherwise specified

tobacco smoke

Good Evidence

1,1-dichloroethane

carbamates

carbon monoxide

DDT/DDE

methyl bromide

nitrates / nitrites

organochlorine pesticides

organophosphates

pentachlorophenol (PCP)

pesticides

solvents

styrene

tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

tobacco smoke (secondhand)

toluene

trichloroethylene (TCE)

xylene

Limited Evidence

aluminum

arsenic

cadmium

chlorpyrifos

diazinon

dichloropropene

dieldrin

dioxins / TCDD

fluoride

lead

manganese

organophosphates

PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), not otherwise specified

sulfuryl fluoride

Notes

Cognitive impairment in children may occur as a result of exposures in utero or in early childhood during brain development. Metabolic studies have shown that infants absorb more manganese than adults. Manganese is added to infant formula. The effects of lead on I.Q. are non-linear and proportionally greater at lower concentrations. Canfield et al. found associated declines in I.Q. greatest at lifetime average blood lead concentrations less than 10 mg/dL. An estimated loss of 7.4 IQ points was calculated for lifetime average blood lead concentrations from 1 up to 10 mg/dL and a loss of 2.5 IQ points for concentrations 10-20 mg/dL