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Chemicals

Low levels of common flame-retardant chemical damage brain cells: Finding may have implications for autism. Evidence that a common ingredient in flame retardants damages the mitochondria responsible for healthy brain development. (UCDavis MIND Institute, 1/13) 

Flame Retardants in Furniture, Carpets Might Affect Kids’ Development. Another study links exposure to flame-retardant chemicals to physical and mental impairment in school-age children. (HealthDay, 11/15/12)

Learning and Developmental Disabilities Health Report. A summary of research on neurotoxic chemicals, including flame retardants, and brain development. (Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, 7/12)

The Poison Crib: When Protective Chemicals Harm. New evidence of the dangers of flame retardants. (Salon, 7/10/10) 

Children and dust: High concentrations of flame retardants in house dust affect children more than adults. (Environmental Science & Technology, 8/19/09).

Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress? (Mother Jones, Mar/Apr 08)

A Silent Pandemic: Industrial Chemicals Are Impairing the Brain Development of Children Worldwide (Harvard School of Public Health, 11/7/06)

Pesticides in our water: Three to five times more pesticides are used on cotton fields than on soy or corn fields. (United States Geological Survey, 5/98) 

Sleep

Scientists Discover the Reason We Need Sleep. Researchers have discovered why sleep is critical to survival: during sleep, a flood of cerebrospinal fluid cleans toxins from the brain. (Mashable, 10/21/2013; Science, 10/2013)

Findings Reveal Brain Mechanisms At Work During Sleep. Insights into how sleep deprivation impacts dementia, different types of memory, and learning. (Society for Neuroscience, 10/16/12)

Do You Have the “Morning Person” Gene? Genetic difference found between early birds and sleepyheads. (The Week, 11/28/11)

Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep (National Institute of Neurological Disorders)

Living Green

I Dwell in Possibility. Eco-expert Simran Sethi “greens” her historic home in Kansas. (Oprah.com, 12/13/10)