Re: strong link between autism and the environment
Subject: Re: [4DWorldx] strong link between autism and the environment
To: 4DWorldx@yahoogroups.com, Theoretical_Physics_Board@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013, 8:22 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/12/autism-pollution-study-_n_2853542.htmlBabies exposed to air pollution in the womb are more likely to have autism than those whose mothers spend pregnancy in clean air, according to a new study.In the largest study of its kind, UCLA researchers compared levels of air pollutants, mostly related to vehicle traffic, during pregnancy gestation periods of 7,603 children with autism and 75,635 children without autism, born from 1995 to 2006 in Los Angeles. The study was published March 1 in Environmental Health Perspectives, a peer-reviewed journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.Babies at the 75th percentile of exposure to toxins had 8 percent to 10 percent higher risk of autism than babies at the bottom 25th percentile, the study said. Ozone and fine particulates had the strongest association with autism."These findings are of concern, since traffic-related air pollution is ubiquitous," said Dr. Beate Ritz, chair of UCLA's Department of Epidemiology and the study's senior author. She said she was reluctant to advise expectant mothers to leave LA or polluted cities, because that's not an option for many. "We can't tell them to not breathe or not go outside or not go to work," she said. She did recommend avoiding sitting in traffic, when pollutant exposure is worst.Using government air monitoring stations, researchers estimated average exposures during pregnancy to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone and particulate matter. The study adjusted for factors that include maternal age, birthplace, race and education. Using birth certificates, researchers compared control children with non-control children who had matching birth year, sex and gestational age at birth.This is important because the highest rates of autism tend to be among children of older, more educated and white parents. Also, there is a higher likelihood of autism in a mother's first child, probably because parents of autistic children often do not continue to have more children, Ritz said.
--- On Sun, 4/14/13, Alex Reynolds wrote:
From: Alex Reynolds
Subject: [4DWorldx] strong link between autism and the environment
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, Theoretical_Physics_Board@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sunday, April 14, 2013, 8:05 PM�http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/autism-toxic-chemicals-children-environment-risk-factors_n_1543316.html
Are Toxic Chemicals To Blame For Rising Rates Of Autism?
While pregnant with her son Edgar, Melissa Wolfe followed the lead of many a cautious woman before her. She took prenatal vitamins and ate organic vegetables.
New Study: Autism Linked to Environment: Scientific American
Research links soaring incidence of the mysterious neurological disorder to fetal and infant exposure to pesticides, viruses, household chemicals
Autism and Air Pollution: The Link Grows Stronger | TIME.com
Studies continue to suggest that in utero exposure to pollution can raise the risk of autism
Children with autism are two to three times more likely than other children to have been exposed to car exhaust, smog, and other air pollutants during their earliest days, according to a new study.
That new research adds to a mounting body of evidence that shows a link between early-life exposure to pollution and autism spectrum disorders.
It's also increasingly clear that genetics can't tell the whole story of autism. A Stanford University study of twins published last year found that genetics accounts for just 38 percent of the risk.
"That analysis suggested that the assumption that this is mostly a genetic condition was perhaps made in error," said Diana Schendel, a scientist with the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. "Maybe the environment plays a larger role in autism than we once believed."
Drugs used decades ago to treat morning sickness, bipolar disorder and ulcers, as well as the insecticide chlorpyrifos, have already been tied to autism. With about 80,000 chemicals available for industry use, most of which remain untested for toxicities, researchers have plenty more potential culprits to investigate. A study spearheaded by the advocacy organization Environmental Working Group found an average of 200 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 babies born in U.S. hospitals in 2004.
Such figures have raised alarms given the host of health problems on the rise among kids, including diabetes, obesity, asthma and cancer. Growing children are extremely sensitive to chemicals, even at very low doses. And of all the developing organs, the brain may be the most vulnerable. The time window for a chemical to wreak havoc extends from the early embryo all the way through adolescence, when the brain finally matures.
"The brain goes through rapid changes, all complex and all easily disrupted," said Dr. Philip Landrigan, chairman of the department of preventative medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. "Take a Swiss watch and multiply that by 1,000."
In April, Landrigan co-authored a report that highlighted 10 widely used chemicals and mixtures of chemicals that are suspected of harming the developing brain, including lead, methylmercury, organochlorine pesticides, endocrine disruptors such as bisphenol-A and phthalates, automobile exhaust, and flame retardants.
Recent research by Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an autism expert at the University of California, Davis, supports the list. She has found hints of links between autism and proximity to freeways, pesticides and a parent's occupational exposures, as well as nutrition.
The latter study was the first to illustrate how genes and the environment might interact to trigger the disease. "Children who inherited unlucky genes that made them less efficient at utilizing and metabolizing the folic acid of prenatal vitamins had a five- to seven-fold higher risk of autism," Hertz-Picciotto said.
Next up for her team: agricultural chemicals and possibly bisphenol-A.
Other research published over the past few months has added evidence that flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as some factors more broadly considered environmental such as a mother's diabetes or fevers during pregnancy, might be implicated in autism and other learning disorders. Several more ongoing studies are looking into social factors, medications taken during pregnancy, and infections.
California's sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors' diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported Thursday.
The scientists who authored the new study advocate a nationwide shift in autism research to focus on potential factors in the environment that babies and fetuses are exposed to, including pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products.
"It's time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California," said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an epidemiology professor at University of California, Davis who led the study.
Throughout the nation, the numbers of autistic children have increased dramatically over the past 15 years. Autistic children have problems communicating and interacting socially; the symptoms usually are evident by the time the child is a toddler.
More than 3,000 new cases of autism were reported in California in 2006, compared with 205 in 1990. In 1990, 6.2 of every 10,000 children born in the state were diagnosed with autism by the age of five, compared with 42.5 in 10,000 born in 2001, according to the study, published in the journal Epidemiology. The numbers have continued to rise since then.
A 2011 Stanford University study with 192 pairs of twins, with one twin autistic and one not, found that genetics accounts for 38 percent of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for 62 percent. Supporting an environmental/genetic tag team are other studies showing autistic children and their mothers have a high rate of a genetic deficiency in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant and the body's primary means of detoxifying heavy metals. High levels of toxic metals in children are strongly correlated with the severity of autism.
Low levels of glutathione, coupled with high production of another chemical, homocysteine, increase the chance of a mother having an autistic child to one in three. That autism is four times more common among boys than girls is likely related to a defect in the single male X chromosome contributing to antioxidant deficiency. But there is no such thing as a genetic disease epidemic because genes don't change that quickly, so the alarming rise in autism must be the result of increased environmental exposures that exploit these genetic defects.
The list of autism's possible environmental triggers is long and comes from many studies that show higher rates of autism with greater exposure to flame retardants, plasticizers like BPA, pesticides, endocrine disruptors in personal-care products, heavy metals in air pollution, mercury, and pharmaceuticals like antidepressants.
During the first three months of gestation, a human embryo adds 250,000 brain cells per minute, reaching 200 billion by the fifth month. No chemical elixir can improve this biologic miracle, but thousands of toxic substances can cross the placenta and impair the process, leaving brain cells stressed, inflamed, less well developed, fewer in number and with fewer connections with each other. Autistic brain architecture can be revealed by MRI scan as early as six months of age.
Doctors have long advised women during pregnancy to avoid consumption of alcohol, drugs or chemicals. But as participants in modern society we are all now exposed to over 85,000 chemicals from the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the consumer products we use.
Pregnant women and their children have 100 times more chemical exposures today than 50 years ago. The average newborn has more than 200 different chemicals and heavy metals contaminating its blood when it takes its first breath; 158 of them are toxic to the brain. Little wonder that rates of autism, attention deficit and behavioral disorders are all on the rise.