Young children from low-income homes whose mothers reported frequent use of toxic chemicals such as household cleaners were more likely to show delays in language development by age 2, a new study found.
In addition, the children scored lower on a test of cognitive development. These developmental delays were evident even when the researchers took into account factors such as the education and income of mothers, which are also linked to their children's language and cognitive skills.
The findings provide additional evidence of the need for pediatricians and other health care providers to counsel parents of young children to restrict their use of toxic household chemicals, said Hui Jiang, lead author of the study and senior research associate at The Ohio State University.
"We found that a significant percentage of mothers with young children may commonly expose their children to toxic household chemicals, possibly because they are unaware that such materials may be harmful," said Jiang, who is with Ohio State's Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy.
The study was published online recently in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.
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