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Recent epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested that persistent organochlorine compounds (OCs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins may alter thyroid hormone levels in animals and humans. As neurological development occurs in discrete developmental windows, even transient disorders in thyroid hormone availability can have profound effects on brain development.1 Most studies have focused on the effects of prenatal exposure, but little evidence exists concerning the effects of exposure to OCs during childhood.
Further research on the latter is reported in a paper by Álvarez-Pedrerol et al in this issue (see page 452).2 Exposure to certain OCs such as dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (p,p′-DDT), β-hexachlorocylcohexane (β-HCH) and polychlorinated biphenyls (congeners PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-118) …
Competing interests: None.