What Causes Autism? A New Study Says Chemicals and Heavy Metals May Be to Blame
For our second dedicated news post, we're taking a look at some new information about the possible causes of autism. With Playmate Jenny McCarthy getting press coverage for saying she knows what triggers the disease while various medical experts argue about its causes, it can be tough for parents to figure out who to listen to. While Time magazine recently reiterated that the study linking childhood vaccines to autism has been repeatedly debunked, its definitive cause remains a mystery.
However, some leading experts on autism, ADHD and learning disabilities have now published a list in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives of chemicals and heavy metals that they believe are more likely than even a genetic predisposition to trigger the onset of these diseases.
Among the biggest culprits are:
Lead, such as the kind found in old paint, but also potentially lurking in ancient plumbing
Pesticides commonly used to spray non-organically grown fruits and vegetables
- Non-stick cookware and waterproof clothing
The complete list, as well as tips for how you can avoid each of them without moving to a commune, is available on Rodale's website.
An earlier report published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, determined that damaging environmental effects could kick in even before birth. In the largest twin study of its kind, exposure to, among other things, pesticides and PCBs in the womb, was implicated in nearly 60 percent of observed autism cases.