June 7th, 2011
06:43 PM ET
Scientists warn of chemical-autism link
Autism and environmental health experts called for greater scrutiny of chemicals found in the environment, which could potentially lead to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, in a conference call Tuesday.
"We live, breathe and start our families in the presence of toxic chemical mixtures and constant low-level toxic exposures, in stark contrast to the way chemicals are tested for safety," said Donna Ferullo, Director of Program Research at The Autism Society.
"Lead, mercury, and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe," she said.
Autism spectrum disorders are being diagnosed at unprecedented rates, partly because of improved diagnostic tools and criteria, but also a host of other factors including what mothers-to-be are exposed and consequently their unborn children too, said Irva Hertz-Piccotto, Chief of the Division of Environmental Health at the University of California, Davis, and a faculty member at the Mind Institute.
About 1 in 110 children in the United States has autism, a group of developmental disorders that lead to impairments in behavior, communication and socialization. The cost of autism is staggering: $3.2 million for the care of a person with autism throughout his or her life; behavioral therapy can be hard to come by and be very limited, and most medications don't help much.
Studies have strongly suggested a genetic component in the cause of autism, but it's becoming clear that genetics alone isn't the whole story; there could be interactions between susceptibility genes and environmental chemicals.
Recent research from her group, appearing in the journal Epidemiology, showed that prenatal vitamins taken prior to conception seem to interact with certain metabolizing genes that are inherited. Those women who did not take the vitamins, and had the high-risk genotypes, were more likely to have a child with autism. Still, this was a small study limited in scope, and more research should be done to confirm these findings.
The central nervous system of the fetus is sensitive to a wide range of chemicals, Hertz-Piccotto said. Hormones, such as estrogens and androgens, are essential for proper brain development. Endocrine-disrupting compounds need more research, she said. Flame-retardant chemicals called PBDEs interfere with the body's hormones. Even though many of them are no longer used in manufacturing, they can hang around in the environment and the human body for a long time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aware of concerns about these chemicals and is working on accessing substitutions (see the action plan).
Bisphenol A, present in plastic food packaging and water bottles, among other products, is another big concern, she said, because it could interfere with the body's natural estrogen system; antimicrobials added to soaps, toothpaste and other products can artificially enhance androgenic activity.
"That means that they could potentially play a role in autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders," Hertz-Piccotto said.
Moreover, many children with autism spectrum disorders have abnormal immune responses. The chemical messengers in the immune system interact with the receptors in the brain, so chemicals that affect immunity could also be implicated in autism.
Thyroid dysfunction is common in children with autism that psychiatrist Dr. Suruchi Chandra sees, even though that's not part of the classical symptoms of the condition. She believes the abnormalities are due to the thyroid hormone disruptors such as BPA and flame retardants.
"Thyroid hormone is critical for brain development in early life, and even small alterations in hormone levels can have serious consequences; long-lasting and perhaps irreversible consequences in terms of brain function," she said.
Air pollution from traffic and certain pesticides have also been shown to have associations with autism, studies have shown. Maternal conditions could partially result from chemicals in the environment.
Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, called for an update of the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has proposed a stricter version that would require all industrial chemicals to be tested for safety.
UPDATE: Since so many of you have asked, I wanted to clarify that this discussion does not relate to vaccines. The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism.
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Call me crazy, but I believe the government knows and sanctions the root cause of autism. Some say its in the shots, GMO or other foods. The ratio will continue to increase over the next several generations. Its easier to control a population, if they can't rebel against you. I know, I know I hope I'm wrong. But my gut says the movie idiocracy is the future.
or, how about the KNOWN NEUROTOXINS in vaccines cause autism, and gosh i dont know...neurological problems? sheesh are we EVER going to admit what is so painfully obvious?
oh, and herd immunity is a total fallacy, and anyone who has taken a second or third level bio class will tell you that. herd immunity is a buzzword term developed by the powers-that-be to make lazy and uninformed parents who choose to vaccinate believe that unvaxed kids are a danger to their own children. if the vaccines work so well, why would my unvaccinated kid threaten yours? by the way, my son is 18 months, and has never had a single vaccine. in 18 months of life, despite being born in january and taken out in public since 5 days old, with my pediatrician as my witness, he has NEVER been sick. also the only 18 month old my pedi has treated that has NEVER had a single ear infection and isnt allergic to anything. also never had "colic" (aka, pain and traumatic vaccine reactions). i wish i could say i dont judge parents who vaccinate, but the truth is i do. theyre as a whole, lazy, uninformed, and stupid. show me an unvaccinated child and i will show you a child who is at LEAST 50% healthier than most, if not all, vaccinated kids. HEALTH DOES NOT COME THROUGH A NEEDLE. injecting known neurotoxins into babies and toddlers WILL CAUSE neurological problems. it isnt rocket science.
As a mother of an autistic 12 year old, I am appauled at the vast amount of misinformation floating around these days. All of the people who want to be armchair scientists think that they have all of the answers. It's more frightening to see all of this misinformation floating around for young people to absorb than the actual condition itself!
I refuse to believe anything coming through the media outlets these days concerning autism's prominence in society. You know where I get my information? Research... and lots of it. People need to stop believing the sheep that pass information through the media and need to start doing their own research into what's causing such an alarming increase in ASD and its linked conditions.
Until there is a solid reason behind ASD's existence, everything else is just speculation.
@ Nancy.....well said!!!!
Has there ever been an incident where identical twins were born and one had autism while the other did not? If so, then it's definitely not genetic.
Our 3 year old was just diagnosed with high functioning autism. My wife and I did everything possible to prevent this including, prenatal vitamins, limited vaccines until he was 2, etc. Even prior to the official diagnosis, we kind of knew something was up although he does not have the typical autism traits (rocking, tip toes, hand movements, no eye contact, etc.) His speech is delayed but he is talking. He's great at puzzles, memory games, numbers, ABC's which we thought was a good thing but it's actually an indicator for this type of autism. He was shy until he turned 3 and now he loves pre-school and being with other kids, although sometimes he likes to do things on his own. If I can pass on a few things we learned to parents who are in the beginning stages of this journey, here they are: First: Some kids with autism we found out are gluten and dairy sensitive. Their bodies can't process these kinds of foods which causes their brain to get foggy. To investigate this theory, we ordered a test kit from Enterolab which had very good reviews. 3 weeks later, we got the results and sure enough, he was sensitive to gluten and dairy. We modified his diet with no disruption at all and there is no doubt that he is a million times more focused. Consult your "Developmental" Pediatrician before making any changes to your kid's diet because taking them off of gluten and dairy when they have no sensitivities to it could have an adverse reaction. Second: Don’t Panic!! The hardest thing for us in the beginning was not knowing what to do so you start to panic. We would stay up late at night on our laptops reading anything and everything, most of which scared the hell out of us. The internet has some good resources but don’t let it consume you. It can become poison. Find yourself a good Developmental Pediatrician which is more specialized than a regular pediatrician. They will give you the official diagnosis and start you on your journey. Third: If you have a high functioning child with autism as we do, don’t be sad. Believe it or not, your child is gifted but that gift just needs to be nurtured. My mother suggested a book called “Thinking In Pictures” by Temple Grandin who is a PhD in animal studies. She also has/had autism. You will be hooked in the first chapter and have a completely new perspective on this condition which isn’t a condition at all. It is a gift that I truly didn’t understand until now. I look forward to encouraging my son’s gift and helping him dial in his social and communication skills. Good luck to everyone.
This "article" is full of words like "might", "possibly", "could", and "believes". Readers get hysterical and immediately leap to the false conclusion that the author is saying "definitely", "will cause", and "certainty". Just review the comments and you'll see it.
Using your same thining process, consider this..... "If you send me all your money, it MIGHT cause you to get rich. And if you send me all your money you earn next year, it POSSIBLY could be a good thing for you. If you work as a slave for my benefit, PERHAPS you will find it rewarding." Now get to work, since you saw it in writing, and if words like "might", "possibly" and "perhaps" are in writing, the outcome is certain!!!!
Great reminder that we humans actually have critical thinking skills. I fear that most forget.
Right. If I were a scientist and my lively hood depended on finding new findings – I would find lots of new findings. Remember black holes do not exist. But the concept of gravitational movement of the planets fails in certain parts of the universe we can observe – so for a while they used math to figure in an imaginary planet with a particular mass and size and movement that would allow the gravitational movement of planets theory to continue to make sense – alas this imaginary planet was a scientific "black hole" or singularity – given that this solved the inherent problem the scientists eventually "found" black holes.
What a breathe of fresh air. Thank you Realtime for simplifying and explaining the process that the media uses to create fear. I'm ashamed to have a degree in journalism. I don't use it in my current career, but feel so discouraged when I read articles with like this.
that is just how scientists express themselves. Having said that it is true that one should not confuse a correlation with cause and effect. On the other hand, the data for chemicals and cancer is a certainty and causative, so consumers beware. Autism cause is still unknown but it would not surprise me if environment contributes significantly.
Arran: you are clearly not a scientist...
yes the media likes to scare you but the fact is science is a lot of maybe and mights until all the data is in. Should we keep our mouths shut until we've proven findings?
Might, possible, could, these are terms used to describe statistical correlations or evidence that exists, but cannot yet be causally linked. This is how science works, and these words mean something different than perhaps you think. Although, as usual, this is poor science reporting, when the author of an article does not communicate their nuanced meaning.
For example, alcohol consumption is correlated with lung cancer, so their is a chance they cause each other. Even though there is a real link there, there is only a plausible causal link. We know know this is not true, but rather that smoking causes lung cancer, and smoking and drinking are correlated, which means drinking and lung cancer are also correlated.
@MMC I'm sorry to hear you feel that way about your education. This article was well written. The wording it used was clearly meant to express to the reader what scientists are saying, but also show that it's not certain – hence the use of "might," "perhaps" and "possibly." I see no evidence that the author has any intention of inspiring fear. The headline may need a little work, but editors like to grab attention. If you want the media to stop publishing things that could possibly lead to irrational people freaking out then I suggest we ban media all together. By the way, I'm very proud of my degree in journalism if you couldn't tell.
The first thing I thought when I read this artile was "DUH", companies have been dumping their industrial byproducts into our backyards for over a hundred years. What, did they think it was not going to come back to bite them at some point, of course they didn't. Most companies are only worried about the bottom line, they give absolutely no thought to those who might be hurt by their shortsightedness. That is why Microsoft moved to Mexico City, so they could dump their unwanted chemicals into the city's drinking water without any kind of punishment leveled against the company. Luckily, noone drinks city water anyway so the company doesn't have to deal with all of the birth defect claims that would be leveled against them if anyone acually did drink city water. But then I'm sure their lawyers are good at keeping those kinds of claims out of the public eye. That is why many companies export their factories. So they can continue to dump their toxic by-products without having to answer to the US government because I'm sure those countries that those jobs are going to are just happy to have them helping their economy and wouldn't dare try to stop the companies illegal practices. We are slowly making this planet uninhabitable and the general public has absolutely no clue.
So what exactly is your point?
There are a whole series of man made chemicals that are implicated in all sort of abnormalities in wildlife. Are they affecting humans? Yes. Rates of autism, male abnormalities are approaching epidemic levels. If 1 in 110 had cancer or AIDS what would the societal response be? Links to pesticides, platics, teflon, etc have been seen for decades and published in several research and science journals but dismissed and suppressed by the industry. Is your diatrabe of "fear" intended dismiss concerns? You are an idiot who wants to keep your head buried in your ass. This moronic posture of if it can't be "proved" harmful it must be okay is pure idiocy. Future generations (should we survive the toxic soup we coat ourselves in) will look back at this time and basically say "what a buch of idiots". You should be fearful, moron, and err on the side of caution.
Yeah, autism "may" be linked to a lot of things.
Im gonna go for a longshot here and blame former president Bush for this problem.
Well, actually Bush sidetracked the implementation of tougher restrictions issued by the EPA on coal power plants (the biggest source of mercury and other heavy metal toxins) by creating a cap and trade system that was then tied up in courts by various coal states... so, yes, some of the exposure today is Bush's fault.
aahahahahhahahaha @ Logic. yes, cause autism has just been happening over the last 10 years.
sure your not a troll? or just a little immature?
Well, he at least attempted to lower mercury pollution standards, which we know causes all sorts of amazing issues in both adults and children, but that really never materialized (http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/news-desk/2008/02/08/bush-mercury-rules-overruled).
@ Steve who wrote:
BS. My whole family, including myself, grew up drinking cows milk. Not a single case of autism....
Depending on your age, autism may not have yet been invented.
Not invented yet? Autism has always been around it just hasn't been diagnosed properly until recently. Before, anyone who had a mental disorder was just automatically put in a nut house.
The article clearly says that "there could be interactions between susceptibility genes and environmental chemicals." The fact that nobody in your family has autism doesn't prove anything. It means your family doesn't have the susceptibility genes. In that case, you have nothing to worry about, lucky you. People have different genetics.
Somehow all of these educated guesses just don't have the "aha!" factor. When I was growing up in the 1950s, autism was extremely rare. I Ilived in a neighborhood simply jammed with baby boomer kids; many per family and in nearly every house. Also, I had a large extended family, what with six siblings on both my father's and mother's sides of the family. I heard of a couple of cases of autism, which was sort of diagnosed as childhood schizophrenia at the time. I never saw kids on the spectrum either - there were quiet kids and rowdy kids and a few odd ones, I guess I fit that category.
I know people tended to in those days deny or hide kids with mental problems or send them to "special schools" - but that was mostly with retardations, which was largely chromosomal; you saw those kids and they fit into "Trisomy 21" or some other unfortunate biological definition.
But if actual autism had been as prevalent as 1/100, the country would have been in an uproar. We were inadvertently exposed to all kinds of substances like plastics, tons of cigarette smoke, fetal alcohol - pesticides were considered a huge advance - we used to pour them on in Minnesota, and spray them around the house. Whew.
Now, I'm old and my mom is heading toward 100 - I won't even talk about what she put into and onto her body, probably when she was pregnant too. Autism definitely has some cause, and I don't believe it's environmental. My guess is that it might be viral. Anytime something wicked and anti-human happens, you can often search out a bug, and being that viruses are immune to all our antibiotics, I would suspect viruses. They're being investigated in schizophrenia as well and probably a host of other ailments.The virus might be too tiny, too well-concealed; it's strategy might be so cunning that we are looking right at it without seeing it.
The tendency of autism to run in families might have some infectious element. Someday, there will be an aha! moment, and then there will be a cure or a vaccine. That's the only definitive way to change things. Cancer - viral too, I wouldn't be surprised. I once read that if all viruses were to vanish from the earth, we would not be the worse for it - unlike bacteria, which are, of course, essential to life. My two cents.
wow is all i can say, i agree with most people but i also dont, a mother who has HIV may not necisarily pass it to her first child but it may be passed to the remaining. it really depends on both parents genes and not only that, whoever said you are asked to get the flu shot while pregnant is wrong, my doctor refused to give it to me while i was pregnant...it seems like alot of you are throwing your own opinion out there which is fine, but i can honestly say that my uncle had 4 children with the same wife, 2 were extremely autistic, two were normal, it really depends on the applied environment and wich genes are instilled into the unborn.
So exposure is the same vut not everyone get's autism?
other factors may vary
Proven connection or no, what is true – read the package inserts – is that vaccines contain toxic chemicals. And chemicals are linked to chronic disease.
Defectively DISPROVEN connection
"Since that initial finding, 14 studies including millions of children in several countries consistently show no significant difference in autism rates between children who got the MMR vaccine those who didn't." http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/searching-for-answers/vaccines-autism?page=2
oops corrected that one wrong "Definitively"
The biggest argument against vaccines causing autism is LESS people vaccinate thier kids now than 20 years ago. Autism rates are 250% higher than 20 year ago. The math just doesn't work.
The only studies that have been done have looked at individual vaccines (one at a time) and Autism and NONE have had a control group of unvaccinated children (scientists believe it is unethical to do so). So, we will never get the full picture until we study the ACTUAL situation our children are being put through (multiple vaccines given in a single day and within weeks of each other, given to children who have a cold or their immunity is otherwise compromised on the day of injection, etc.) and we will never know for sure if vaccines impact autism until we can study children who receive them with a control group of children not receiving vaccines. So, to say the topic has been fully studied is completely incorrect and misleading.
@Notes, where did you get that stat from. How can less received vaccines now than 20 years ago. First of all, there were less vaccines in the 80's than there are now. 20 years ago, we did not have as much gov regulation for vaccinating our kids. Please do not repeat that unless you have facts.
Go to the CDC website.
umm yeah there ARE groups of children who are not vaccinated. many third world countries and certain religions don't allow vaccines, so that blows you're "there's no control group" out of the water. and yes, they still have autism in the groups along with a sadly high infant and child mortality rates because kids die of stupid preventable illnesses. too bad the numbers just don't lie and we can't easily blame it all on vaccines... it'd be a quick fix that sure would make a lot of parents feel better.
the 15 babies who died in my area last year from whooping cough will never develop autism tho.
MamaofAutism, you're wrong. A German study was done earlier this year which compared a group of unvaccinated children to a group of vaccinated children. There are now enough, thanks to the panics Wakefield engendered, to create a large enough sample of unvaccinated children. The results: statistically no difference in autism rates or other health indicators except in ONE area: unvaccinated children had a higher rate of infection from the diseases that the vaccines were intended to prevent. But other than being more likely to get measles, mumps, and rubella, the unvaccinated children were no different from their vaccinated counterparts, and definitely no healthier. Truth hurts, doesn't it? You people haven't changed since Reverend Massey was raving at his pulpit.
MamaofAutism – There are plenty of third world counties where autism vaccines are not available. Those populations HAVE been studied. In a nutshell, scientists have studied three groups: 1] those that received vaccines with the mercury preservative, 2] those that received vaccines without mercury, 3] those that received no vaccines. There is NO difference in the autism rates between the three groups.
There are over 150,000 chemicals that are available on the commercial market. Only about 8000 have been tested for their affects on humans. It's time to get off the idea of the vaccines being the problem.
agree with Kathrine. the above article states that mercury is implicated in autism, which makes sense because it's a known neurological toxin. then the author goes on to say that no way vaccines are implicated. but many vaccines STILL today contain mercury (amidst other toxins such as formaldehyde) and most vaccines have contained mercury for the past x-many years. so, either it's implicated or it's not implicated but the author contradicts him/herself in this regard.
also, there is no such large-scale study of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children in Germany. I'm from there and am following this issue closely, discussing it often with my pediatrician, and not sure where that info is from but not true.
next, I agree there is quite a good number of non-vaccinated children and adults in the US now, so the study could well be done. noone is going to pay for it because it's not in pharma's interest to do so. if you speak to any pediatrician here who sees a good number of non-vaccinated kids, they will all tell you that those are significantly healthier than the fully vaccinated ones.
and to the point of pertussis-deaths, unfortunately media does not disclose that a very high % of those who died where fully vaccinated. the same is true for a recent measles outbreak.
and lastly – if severe reactions including encephalitis, GB-syndrome, seizures, mental retardation and death were not known risks ("side effects") of vaccines, then they would certainly not be stated on the vaccine's package insert. how many parents ask to read the full package insert of what is injected into their little ones? a lot more should!
Mercury is in vaccines. Is this article finally admitting that vaccines harm children?
Look, if lead, mercury, and vaccines were truly the culprit autism rates should be going down. Not up 250%: there is no lead in paint anymore (very common 30-40 years ago), no mercury thermometers, and LESS people vaccinate now than even 20 years ago. But autism rates are up 250%.
THERE IS NO MORE MERCURY IN VACCINES. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
flu shots still have it
Actually, the adult flu vaccine has thimerasol, not the childhood one. And the type of mercury that is in thimerasol is ethyl mercury, not the toxic methyl mercury (like the difference between wine, ethly alcohol, and wood alcohol, or methyl alcohol). And they've taken all the thimerasol out of vaccines (back in 2001). Rates of autism have still risen though.
SOME flu vaccines have mercury, the multi-dose vials. Single-dose and FluMist don't have mercury. The vaccines/mercury = autism hypothesis is deader than a doornail.
My 2 sons both were diagnosed with Autism, and (as all parents should), am seeking out every alternative I can...
That being said, I am aware of a lot of the research that is going on right now, which is actually linking the cause of autism not to the heavy metals and toxins we are absorbing now, but the ones our fathers and grandfathers absorbed. This caused a change in the DNA which only passed to later generations. Its called Epigenetics, Time wrote a good article on it here
If this was caused by vaccines given to our parents and grandparents, we are in for a world of hurt as the next generations are born, as the vaccination schedules and rates have increased.
To clarify... Vaccines are only one cause of the heavy metals and toxins in our bodies, and not solely to blame... I have seen studies that show how populations in industrial areas such as Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Detroit have significantly higher rates of Autism...as high as 1:45.
Here come the typical anti-chemical, anti-medicine nuts.
Who are you even talking to? Use the "Reply" button.
So in order to protect our children from autism, expecting mothers should live in a plastic bubble- non BPA, of course.
The possibility of "stealth germs" acquired in the neonatal period may be another possible explanation. For example, cytomegalovirus exposure in neonates is very common, and cytomegalovirus can produce neuorlogic problems. I believe the role of subclinical infections in causing a variety of conditions of "unknown cause" is underestimated, and should be vigorously explored as outline in my book Stealth Germs in your body – see http://www.stealthgerms.com.
Erno S. Daniel, M.d.
From all of the reading that I've done over the years, I see this as the most likely explanation. We have much to learn about virus's that we carry over a lifetime, passing them on to our unborn children, and how they can affect us in so many ways.
I have Asperger's Syndrome. I've always strongly believed that I was born this way. That all people on the autism spectrum simply have brains that are wired differently from others.
Autism does seem to run in families, which makes me think there is a genetic connection. And this genetic pre-disposition may lead to some person's exposures to certain chemicals, etc., to have a greater effect on their neurological system.
Exactly. You were like that from birth, genetically programmed to have Aspergers, be of a certain height and hair color, and have or not have particular allergies. Your Aspergers probably limits you in some ways, or at least, it did until you learned how to work around it, but once you learned how to make it work for you instead of against you, I'm betting that there are things you do much better than your friends BECAUSE of it.
Environmental Toxicity and Neurodevelopmental Disorders conference, June 24th, Pittsburgh, PA from 8:30 – 5 at Duquesne University. World class researchers! Please see link for details and scholarship information!!!
When are humans going to learn? It may already be too late! Human beings, are to a great extent, influencing global climate change and new patterns. Repeat to yourself. So what lies behind America's resistance to acceptance and action? The lobbying power of industries, and right wing talk radio, resist acknowledgement of climate change's impact. The airwaves are filled with corporate financed climate misinformation. We are 2 decades behind in taking action because both parties are in thrall to Big Coal and Big Oil. Our time is getting short, and the stakes are high. Not to adapt and change is to consign billions of people to death and destruction. Our human race could become extinct as well!
"Lead, mercury, and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe," she said.
I have no idea how they can make this statement and then post the update at the end of the article that says vaccines are safe. Mercury is a preservative found in many vaccinations. How can they still say it's safe?
Mercury isn't used very often in vaccines anymore...it's replacement has been aluminum, which is just, if not more, toxic. The reason adjuvants (mercury, aluminum, and other toxins used to fire up the immune system) work is because they cause our immune system to attack the vaccine and build an antibody. So, our body knows that these toxins should not be allowed in...hopefully, our brains will learn that soon enough.
Everyone seems to forget about metal dental fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight. My husband and I had all of ours replaced over 10 years ago, and if my 9 year old ever gets a cavity, I'm paying for porcelain composites.
The toxins aren't what "fire" up the immune system; it's the dead virus itself. That's why the immune system creates specific antibodies against the virus (the natural reaction of the body to exposure to a virus).
I've never bought into the idea that "vaccines cause autism" because if there was such a direct link, there would be many, many more cases of autism. How do you explain all the children who've been vaccinated and have never suffered an ill effect?
I think autism is more widespread because ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is used as a catch-all for any deviation from the norm, from Asbergers to savants and everything in between. Genetics and environment (both physical and emotional) play a role, in infinite combinations.
MamaofAutsim says: "Mercury isn't used very often in vaccines anymore...it's replacement has been aluminum, which is just, if not more, toxic."
Aluminum didn't replace mercury, heck they don't even serve the same purpose. Mercury is a preservative. Aluminum is an adjuvent (used to stimulate the immune system, to make the vaccines work better). PLEASE get your facts straight. People like you post like you know it all and you don't know jack.
What I'm extremely tired of - is that everyone (including drug companies and medical professionals) say there is no VACCINE LINK!! It wasn't the vaccines - it was the preservative THIMEROSAL!! Thimerosal was used in vaccines as a preservative and probably still is in some places– it is highly toxic and is made with Mercury - a large amount of Mercury. The three vaccines in one vaccine DTP etc. had 3X the amount of thimerosal– that is three times the amount of thimerosal for those vaccines were highly toxic. Add the increased number of vaccines being given and chemicals in the environment and you end up with little children's and babies brains overdosed with heavy metals. No drug company will admit this and this is not dealt with enough - it's a political hot potato.
Thimerosal was removed from vaccines years ago. It was a safe, proven, and cheap preservative. The only reason it was removed was because of people like you who believed the charlatans that proclaimed it to be the cause.
And here we are, with thimerosal-free vaccines readily available, and yet kids are still diagnosed as autistic at an increasing rate. Care to explain that?
Of course, you won't.
to Nutty Buddy, you're telling me that mercury is a safe perservitive ok then why do they lock down a school and call in haz mat fire dept etc. and test everyone in the school for mercury poison when a single thermometer is broken? care to explain that? thought not what made you believe that it was safe? a phamplet from the drug co.? CDC? Proven by whom? MSDS data says it's not safe just sayin.
Very well said..I agree with you.....Grandmother of an autistic child......
It's PRESERVATIVE, you dunce. Ever hear the saying "The poison is the dosage"? Of course you haven't. You are too dumb to have read anything that was above an 3rd grade reading level. The mercury you're blathering about it NOT the Thimerosal used as a preservative. Jesus, get a clue.
@2 with autism: Thiomersal does not contain 'mercury' exactly. It contains Ethylmercury, which is a compound that includes mercury. While that may seem like a meaningless distinction to one such as yourself, might I point out that water is a compound that is mostly oxygen by weight, but I don't recommend that you try breathing it. Just sayin.
@2 with autism – schools are locked down when mercury is spilled because the spilled mercury poses a very real threat. However, the threat posed is not because of the toxicity of mercury, it is because of the toxicity of lawsuits launched by ill-informed people such as yourself.
Curiously, ever since the book..."What to expect when you're Expecting" came out there has been an increase in Autism. In the 1960's, and 1970's women were drinking, smoking and not taking vitamins while pregnant and there was very little autism. Could some well meaning advice in this book...like an increase in folic acid...started the upswing in Autism? Has the incidence of Spina Bifida dropped, while the rate of Autism skyrocketed? Has any scientific study examined the correlation between the two?
And what ethical study could possibly be conducted to show that drinking, smoking, and not taking vitamins results in fewer autistic children? Are you volunteering your future kids as participants?
And where do you get the notion that "there was no autism"? Autism isn't new; it's simply being recognized. In prior decades, children with autism were simply regarded as "odd" or "retarded" or "crazy".
That is something being looked at, scientists do not leave any stone unturned. Folic acid is essential up to a certain point, but mega-dosing at today's current recommendations puts mothers at risk of over-methylating their epigenetics. This is beyond the scope of a CNN forum, so watch in the upcoming months regarding this issue as well as abuse of SPF 60+ sunblocks eliminating vitamin D from our bodies.
why worry about what happens to the fetus ... it isn't a person .... right?
It isn't a person with the rights born people have. The mother does, however, have rights, including the right to continue a pregnancy and deliver a healthy infant. What part of that is so hard for you to grasp?
I think they should look more closely at the safety of ultrasounds. It's a common factor. I think there's a critical period in brain development of the fetus during which getting hit with ultrasound waves causes brain damage to a greater or lesser degree. As with resistance in the general population, some babies are more susceptible than others while still others are "immune" to the exposure.
Ultrasounds didn't exist when I was born and didn't stop me from being placed on the autism spectrum. It is NOT a common factor. Sure, more people are getting diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorders... that doesn't mean that new medical diagnostic tools like ultrasound are the cause. Outpatient surgery has been on the rise, too - do you want to speculate on the relationship between it and autism? Correlation is not causation, and the correlation you're making is extremely sketchy anyway.
so i should have not showered, brushed my teeth, and should have lived in a bubble while pregnant? yea.
Not to mention all of the hormones, fillers, chemicals, processing, preservatives, and genetic mutations that infest our food. Thank you Monsanto, Con-Agra, Tyson, etc. Huzzah deregulation!
Yeah, it was SO much better before we had refrigeration, standards for meat packing plants, preservatives to keep food from spoiling.
You're just not getting it, are you Nutty Buddy. Either that or your life is lacking, and you're just here to get attention. Or likely both. Bottom line – the synthetic, non-natural stuff they're pumping into our bodies, putting in our food and water, and filling our air with ISN'T a good thing! Survival of the fittest I suppose, so carry on with your line of thinking. Ignorance is bliss, eh? My family and I avoid it, and we're all healthy, happy, and not a single case of autism anywhere.
1) How about all the packaging that goes with our foods, and that the parents have grown up with that: 2) How about cigarette smoke that the parents have grown up with? These things affect the reproductive elements of both parents, which could be connected to the increase in autism. Cigarette smoke, and smoking, changes the physiognomy of the head on the sperm. What does it do to the ovum? Mix that with age, when the ovum is less robust (at age 27 and beyond), and you have a pretty potent situation. Autism is not caused by immunizations. And the environment has is not necessarily less or more poluted than it was 40 years ago. But it may be that the chemicals in that pollution are different.
I think it's important to get your kids vaccinated; however, I'm concerned about the current recommended vaccination schedule – so many vaccines given to such little babies in such a short time span. I listened to my son's pediatrician and got him the recommended vaccines, and he ended up with autism. I don't know if vaccines were the sole cause, part of the cause, or not the cause at all. However, I have been much more cautious with my second child by spreading out his vaccines, and fortunately, he is developing normally.
I will not, however, allow my autistic child to be vaccinated anymore. I believe he has a weaker immune system than the average person and that vaccines can harm him. He is one of the people that is protected by the rest of the vaccinated population.
Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but I know that the diets/treatments recommended by the same community that say vaccines contribute to autism are helping my son tremendously. They are the same diets/treaments that the mainstream medical community say don't help. I know my child and I know these things are helping him. Mainstream medicine has lost a lot of credibility with me.
the human body fights off THOUSANDS of LIVE, multiplying, sometimes aggressive, viruses, fungi, and bacteria every day. a few dead ones mean NOTHING to it. don't ever take a microbiology class. you'll never go to a mall, park, grocery store, or any other public place again. ignorance really is bliss.
What you believe is unscientific nonsense that has no basis in reality. You have based your entire reasoning on anecdotal evidence and you are consciously putting your child at risk. And now you're here looking for confirmation that you've done the wrong thing. I hope you don't find it.
If you his mother who is with him all the time think it's really helping it probably is and I think your doing a great job. Ppl rely to much on drs who are human as well and don't have all the answers. If it were me I'd do the same thing and go with what is working for my child
Measles virus / chick embryo culture
Mumps virus / chick embryo culture
Rubella virus / human diploid lung cells, Beef heart infusion / fetal bovine serum, Human albumin, Sorbitol/sucrose, MSG (monosodium glutamate), neomycin
So what? Do you think your post somehow explains anything at all?
Jesus, there are so many idiots and ignoramuses on these boards.
It's embarrassing to read some of the moronic spew some of you vomit up.
Can't scientists and governments work together to make mankind work to clean up the planet? We don't need all those toxic toys. I want to see the stars.
For all the people that don't believe in a genetic link/cause, just find an autistic child and look at the parents. It is always one (if not both) of them. Usually the "weird" one.
YOu are a poor excuse for a human being
Oh, please. Educate yourself. Things like fragile x syndrome ARE genetic - that's been proven. But, to sit there and say what you just said is total nonsense. My son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Having said that, there's nothing "weird" about me or my husband. There's also no previous history of autism in either of our families.
I see Ronnie by your other remarks that you believe vaccines cause Autism. The easter bunny might be real too, but that's not where the evidence points. I find it interesting how people aren't willing to accept that they, through defective genes, might have given their child Autism.
Kyri, you and your husband may be the one in ten thousand exception to the rule, but the rule still stands.
Well, for some people it's definitely genetic. Instances where someone has a child, cousin, and a sibling all simultaneously having autism–that's genetic for sure. You aren't entirely wrong. But yeah, since my son was diagnosed three years ago I've met a lot of other parents who have kids with different levels of autism. A lot of them never had any history of it in their families. It's weird to me. I wish we knew more about autism, I really do. When wondering about a genetic link for my son, I even took into consideration that in the past people were often labeled as having a different problem... such as mental retardation (which is actually not the same thing as autism, and a lot of people don't know that). I thought about everyone I knew in our extended families and I just couldn't find a link. I almost wanted there to be one, because then I would've at least had an answer to this neverending question. It's unnerving to have something like this happen to our family and have no idea why. Yeah, you pick up the pieces and do whatever you can to help your child, but you still always wonder. My son also had problems with food and digestion for several years and appeared to be developing normally the first year. Then one day, we were at my mother's house and she called me into the room and said, "What is wrong with him? He's acting borderline psychotic." He was behaving in a way that we'd never seen him do before. It's like he was just... walking in circles, staring blankly at nothing. He's doing a lot better these days, but the question will always be there in the back of my mind... why. I hear a lot of folks saying that parents just want someone or something to blame, but I don't think that's it. We just want to know why we're going through this living hell.
Read the book "Our Stolen Future"...a real eye opener about how chemicals are destroying us!
Studies like this, and regulations that result from studies like this, should not be funded or sponsored in times of economic crisis. NEWS for you regulators: Unemployment kills more people and destroys more families than chemicals. Stop chasing jobs out of America!
You state: The scientific evidence available has shown again and again that vaccines do not cause autism.
Untrue. The "scientific evidence" neither proves nor disproves. Vaccines may indeed cause autism. More research is needed.
Very, very well said
Every study conducted using proper scientific methods has been unable to demonstrate any correlation between vaccination and autism. Every study that purported to demonstrate a correlation has used non-scientific methodology and has been impossible to repeat by outside researchers. In the case of Wakefield, the data was proved to be falsified. He changed information on patient records to make the data conform to the results he already intended to report. He committed FRAUD. You know, there's a certain point where a lack of evidence for something becomes evidence of that something's lack of existence, and we've gone well past it. People have been wailing about the "evils" of vaccines since the 18th century. And you know what's happened the whole time you guys have been fighting those vaccines? Mortality rates have been dropping, life expectancies have been rising, and former scourges of this planet - smallpox and polio as two examples - have been getting wiped out. And yet you're all still going on about "the dangerous and sinful practice of inoculation" like some two-bit eighteenth century preacher. You probably wouldn't even be alive today without vaccines.
Thank You Tony....
Interesting. Today, three of the most important papers in the history of autism genetics–none of which suggest that any environmental cause is even tangentially related to autism–were published in the journal Neuron. All were genome-wide surveys in 1000 families from a carefully curated collection of autistic families. None of the genes they found had anything to do carbon metabolism.
So...what does CNN choose to highlight? A much inferior work on a smaller, less well-curated set of families that is emblematic of science done the wrong way (to prove, instead of disprove, a hypothesis) and finds weak statistical significance on a minor point.
Pretty embarrassing, CNN.
Thank you Peter – exactly what i was thinking.
I find it funny that the "update" says that vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines contain HUGE amounts of chemicals in them. Do you REALLY think we understand the impact of ALL those chemicals we're forcing into our babies? NO! Many vaccines contain levels of aluminum that are not recommended for average male adults and yet we pump them into a 7lb baby? No thank you. Not for my baby.
Take a few moments to go update your Google degree and search for epidemiology. Just read the wiki page, it should be enough for you to earn a few more Google credits. Once you understand population studies and their ability to do positive indications of trends, then maybe you can review your comment and delete it.
This is the most poorly written "article" I've ever read on this website. It makes NO SENSE. In addition to the incorrect grammar and disjointed paragraphs, about 50 different potential causes of Autism are listed. How can you miss something to point your finger at when you wave it at everything? I guess we aren't supposed to use soap, toothpaste, water bottles, and oh, AIR, either. Just another needless fear mongering, unfounded, and unfortunate article posted to cater to scared expectant mothers and new parents. Shame on you for such irresponsible journalism.
I agree 100% and just posted the same thing. This article is awful.
This just in – organisms can live because of chemicals.
This article is one of the most misleading I have ever read on CNN. Elizabeth Landau should be ashamed. The journal article that this piece is based on is about taking/ not taking PRENATAL VITAMINS before/ during pregnancy. So how on Earth are lead, mercury, ambiguous neurotoxins, BPA, etc. related to vitamin consumption and autism? It's a bad bait-and-switch to talk about scary chemicals and unproven autism hypotheses.
Okay, I'm not a doctor, but I can tell all of you there is definitely a genetic predisposition to Autism. Too many in my family have it.
My Son – severe non verbal
My Daughter – sweetest person on Earth
I used to work with another man who also had 2 Autistic children.
In my gut I know there is a genetic factor, but I also suspect that some of the crap we eat is aggravating this. I really wish that someone would do some real research on eBGH to see if there is a link. My son eats a ton of yogurt and wasn't breast fed either.
Wish there was a cure. My life is Hell.
I don't know if you saw my earlier post, but in my research I found out that there is bispenol A in infant formula containers. For those that their nutrition starts out with contaminants I can only wonder if it starts with commercial formula as part of the cause.
I think that in some cases (like yours), yes, there is a genetic factor. I've always wondered about my son, though. He has autism and there isn't anyone in either mine or my husband's families who has autism... or any kind of autistic traits. I hope they find the reason, too. I completely understand your "my life is hell" statement. I live that every day, too.
One word: PLASTICS
What I learned from the article is that autism is caused by maybes, possibles, could bes, who knows, and your guess is good as mine. This leaves me where I was before I read the article.
More ignorance from some of you, piled higher and deeper. Chemicals make up every substance in the universe, you idjits.
How about studying the relation between formulas such as Similac and Enfamil and the development of autism.
I agree. Dozens and dozens of studies show how much better breastmilk is for thier developing brain but no one wants to offend ppl who formula feed cuz maybe thier milk dried up or thier baby wouldn't latch but mostly it's because the majority think it's easier and want to make themselves feel better. Do what's best for your baby not what's easier. Why do you think so many women are diagnosed with ppd?
Breastfeeding rates are higher today than they were in the 70s, yet more autism is being diagnosed. Gee, that was easy. Or are you just looking for another way to be a santimonious rube regarding breastfeeding vs formula feeding parents?
NO not chemicals, you think.
Or how about all the preservidives you suck down.
Of course it's Chemicals, your water and food is contaminated not to mention everything in your house that was made in China and Indonesia is all tainted.
You cant hardly get toys that are not tainted with led.
Race for the Cure.
Race for the Cause.... CHINA and U.S. Government
Ron Paul 2012
I recently met a scientist from NIH who is a leader in studying autism. He stated there is no current known link between autism and mercury or any other metals / chemicals. He told me South Korea has the best data on this topic and autism has always been prevalent in society (statistically significant.) It is only now that it is being recognized for what it is. There has been a "slight" uptick in the number of cases, but society has always been populated with autistic individuals.