Study shows growing list of industrial chemicals linked to autism

Six new toxins join the list that researchers believe pose a threat to the brains of fetuses and young children.

The Lancet Neurology recently published new research findings showing in the past seven years the number of chemicals with links to neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as autism has more than doubled.

Joining the original 5 neurointoxicants (lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene) are six new toxins researchers believe pose a threat to the brains of fetuses and young children. These new chemicals are manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT), tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. reported the study’s co-author, Dr. Philip Landrigan, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, said,  “Chlorpyrifos is an organic pesticide … 10 years ago it was banned for household use, but it is still extensively used in agriculture and can be found in lots of fruits and vegetables,”

The chemical, Tetrachloroethylene, a common solvent used in the dry cleaning process, has been linked to increased risk of psychiatric diagnosis and deficient neurological function. Though banned in the United States because of the risks to human health, the pesticide DDT Is not only found in soil and water throughout the country, but it is still being used on imported fruits and vegetables.

Landrigan also indicated that the threat of industrial chemicals is greater to the neurological health of a developing fetuses, infants and young children than it is to adults. However, individuals and concerned parents alike can take action to reduce exposure in simpler ways by eating organic or simply eliminating wall-to-wall carpeting, which has been known to trap chemicals and pesticides.

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