Environmental Toxins and Autism

Advancements aside, the 21st century is experiencing the perfect storm, as far as infant development is concerned. Minor genetic variations that would have gone unnoticed in a less toxic world have resulted in vulnerability to certain presumably ‘safe’ foods, materials and the environment. Sometimes, if the stuff is harmful enough, it apparently might not even take impairment in identifiable detoxifying mechanisms.

The possible offending substances are ubiquitous, and the myriad of potential deadly combinations is infinite, making specific identification difficult. Although such discourse often turns to childhood vaccinations, that controversy only plays a part in the complicated matrix of possible poisons that lead to ASD.

Some may appear benign, such as the artificial sweetener aspartame. A more obvious culprit could be prozac in the water, or medications taken during pregnancy. Studies in California and Texas warn of pollution and childhood developmental problems. Plastic is in everything now. Then, there are the consequences of antibacterial (mis)management that have led to resistance and an abnormal gut-brain loop. Steroids are administered to make the animals more productive.There are new electrical fields, more powerful old ones, and increasing reliance on such energy sources. There are local energy fields in our houses and our pants and our ears. Remember that nuclear thing a couple of years ago? It was across the world, but the world is round.

This past week, the journal Pediatrics published research implicating levels of lead that were previously thought to be innocuous “…were associated with lower reading readiness at kindergarten entry. The high prevalence of elevated <LEAD> warrants additional investigation in other high-risk US populations.” Additional investigation?

Here is some of what the CDC recommended 8 months ago:

  • Experts now use a reference level of 5 micrograms per deciliter to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels
  • … CDC is no longer using the term “level of concern” and is instead using the reference value to identify children who have been exposed to lead and who require case management.
  • … The new lower value means that more children will likely be identified as having lead exposure allowing parents, doctors, public health officials, and communities to take action earlier to reduce the child’s future exposure to lead.
  • What has not changed is the recommendation for when medical treatment is advised for children with high blood lead exposure levels. The new recommendation does not change the guidance that chelation therapy be considered when a child has a blood lead test result greater than or equal to 45 micrograms per deciliter.

There are so many disconnects between what we are told by government agencies, what we are fed by mega-food producers and big pharma, and what we experience as the ASD epidemic unfolds. Suspicions become heightened and less-than-scientific theories evolve and abound. The parents of children affected by developmental challenges continue to visit practitioners who appear clueless as regards their specific challenges. Often, doctors with broader points of view are derided and dismissed as kooky by those “in the know”.

Important information and treatment is available. Unanimity of opinions would be great, but there is a great deal more knowledge that needs to be achieved in order to make specific recommendations. “State-of-the-art” in ASD treatment has yet to be defined. Families are left discover the most useful course for their child suffering with an autism diagnosis. Parents can’t fix the outside environment, but they can do something about the internal one.

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2 Responses to “Environmental Toxins and Autism”

  1. YG says:

    Dr Udell, I am curious to know your views regarding this topic but comparing the autism cases in the United States to other countries. I have read time and again how the cases in the United States are on the rise, more so than other countries. I have read many different studies linking pollution and toxins to autism and sure, I don’t see why not, those things have to have some sort of effect on us, I am sure many cancers and what have you are the consequence of a toxic world as well. However, why the United States? Yes, there is pollution and toxins here, but I cannot imagine we are more toxic than say, Shanghai or Mexico City. Why aren’t there autistic children pouring out of those places? or is it that we just don’t know about it.

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