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Summarize spoken text


About 20 years ago Kent Anger and Barry Johnson came up with 750 chemicals that could harm the brain during development. Nobody has since then dared to update that number, it's just a guess today, there has to be more than a thousand if there was 750 twenty years ago. But the problem is also that we have put too little emphasis in this type of, uh, research.

For example, it has taken so far the OECD 10 years to devise a battery of tests that they could recommend for systematic testing of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity. That panel, that battery, has not yet been completed and authorized by OECD so it's taking way, way, way too long because it is complicated. But there is so much at stake.

Children are just losing IQ points and losing their concentration span, memory or motor functions. But in the present world where there's so much emphasis on knowledge and brain functions this can also translate into dollars. The EPA has calculated that every time a child loses one IQ point because of chemical pollution it costs society something like $8,000 or $10,000.

Sample summary

About twenty years ago, it was estimated that there are 750 chemicals that can affect the developing human brain, and today there may be over 1000. There is little emphasis on the possible damage caused to developing children from these chemicals. It has taken the OECD ten years to develop an index to test for developmental neurotoxicity. Economically, each IQ point lost to chemical poisoning has an impact of $8,000-$10,000.

Sample responses


The lecture mentions chemical test for brain development. There are 2 level of chemical test. The first one is conducted by OECD on the systematic test chemical. They found that it takes a long time and too compicated for this test. The second is carried out by EPA which tried to find out some chemical solution.

Explanation: While the response contains several key words, it does not summarize the main issues described by the speaker. It demonstrates weak grammar control which hinders understanding. The vocabulary used is appropriate for the context. There is one spelling mistake. The word count is 56 words.


About 20 years ago, scientists came up with 750 chemicals that could harm the brain. It might be more than that nowadays. Research on the harmful chemicals is complicated and could take too long. Chemical pollution has various effects on children, for example loss of concentration span, memory and IQ points.

Explanation: While the response includes some main points, other key information from the passage is omitted. This response demonstrates good control of grammar. The use of vocabulary is appropriate within the context. There are no spelling mistakes. The word count is 51 words.

20 years ago, the list of chemicals which affected brain development was numbered at 750. Today, this number has increased to about 1000. There is insufficient research on the testing of such chemicals by OECD. These chemicals cause harmful effects like the lost of IQ, concentration, memory and motor functions. It is estimated that for every lost IQ point of a child, society stands to lose 8,000 to 10,000 dollars.

Explanation: The response is an accurate and detailed summary of the main point and several supporting points discussed in the lecture. The grammar follows standard English conventions. The vocabulary used is appropriate for the context. There are no spelling mistakes. The word count is 70 words.

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