Attention, parents: Now that you’ve seen your kids’ first report cards of the year, it’s time for a little homework of your own. No doubt you’re doing the best you can to ensure your little ones’ eventual membership in Mensa — promoting stimulating dinner conversation, reading a chapter together each night, maybe even playing Mozart during bath time. But wait — there’s more. You’ll find your next assignment in the pages of Colleen Moore’s Silent Scourge: Children, Pollution, and Why Scientists Disagree.
You probably already know that lead is not an appropriate component of any cerebral calisthenics program. But nor is it the only pollutant that can stunt intellectual development. In Silent Scourge, Moore, a developmental psychologist, reviews the case against lead and five additional types of pollutants — mercury, PCBs, pesticides, noise, and radioactive and chemical wastes.
With the possible exception of noise, most people recognize these pollutants as harmful and wouldn’t actively incorpor... Read more