Project TENDR is an alliance of more than 50 leading scientists, health professionals, and advocates working to protect children from toxic chemicals and pollutants that harm brain development. We prioritize ending the disproportionate exposures to these chemicals and pollutants and greater impacts experienced by children from families with low incomes and families of color.

Learning, developmental, and intellectual disorders are complex, arising from multiple, interacting genetic and environmental factors. While we cannot change our genes, we can prevent the contribution of toxic chemicals and pollutants to lasting problems with cognition, behavior, and attention.

Why We Do This Work: Children in America are at an unacceptably high risk for disorders that affect the brain. Children’s exposures to toxic chemicals in our air, water, food, soil, and consumer products are widespread and begin in utero. The fetus, infants, and young children are especially at risk of harm because their bodies and brains are rapidly developing, and chemicals can interfere with sensitive biological processes during critical periods.

Project TENDR released a scientific Consensus Statement, on July 1, 2016, as a national Call To Action to significantly reduce exposures to chemicals and pollutants that are contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders in America’s children.

What We Do: Project TENDR joins scientific evidence with advocacy, to inform and empower decision makers to create policies ensuring no child is exposed to chemicals contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders. We:

  • Publish articles in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals on specific classes of toxic chemicals playing a role in neurodevelopmental disorders,
  • Submit scientific comment letters to government policymakers
  • Provide testimony on the scientific evidence on neurotoxic chemicals at the state and federal levels
  • Bring science and recommendations for health-protective policies to decision-makers
  • Conduct media campaigns on neurotoxic threats,
  • Share this information with audiences nationally and globally.

Project TENDR is a program of The Arc, directed by the executive team of Maureen Swanson, The Arc; Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, University of California Davis; and Dr. Tanya Taiwo, Bastyr University.

Project TENDR is generously supported by:

Forsythia Foundation

Park Foundation

Broad Reach Fund

Passport Foundation

Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation

John Merck Fund

The Ceres Trust

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.