Scientists may be a little closer to unraveling what causes autism. A research study by the University of Chicago has shown that autism and other intellectual disabilities have links to fetal exposure to environmental toxins.
The study concluded said that, at specific times during pregnancy, fetal development can be affected by various small molecules, contained in plastics, medicines, pesticides and some other things, which can affect fetal development. Autism is often associated with birth defects in the male genitalia. Professor Rzhetsky added that the greatest indicators for autism were environmental exposure and birth malformations in the male reproductive system.
The team studied data covering more than 33% of the US population. Fetuses, especially male fetuses, are sensitive to toxins. Scientists believe that exposure to such toxins, during critical developmental phases, explains most congenital reproductive system malformations.
An environmental medicine expert said the study’s findings were significant and should encourage the medical and scientific communities and government in looking at the area in terms of autism prevention. Since scientists already knew that congenital reproductive defects are evidence of environmental pollution is the presence of congenital reproductive defects and these defects can also indicate the presence of autistic disorders.
This is not the first study that has linked autistic disorders to environmental factors. A 2009 department of Public Health Sciences, Chicago University study looked at 17 years worth of state data tracking congenital developmental disabilities and concluded that scientists should begin looking at environmental toxins for the causes of autism.
Another study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, compared the brains of autistic and non-autistic children that had died. Abnormal clumps of disorganized neurons had broken the normal distinct brain cortex layers in the autistic brains. The research suggested that these malformations happened between the 19th and 30th weeks of gestation, which tells scientists that it is the combination of the presence of toxins and when the exposure occurred, which may cause the defects leading to autism.
Autism rates have risen rapidly in the United States, in 1981 one in ten thousand children had autism in 2014 one in 68 children has an autistic disorder. Many research studies point to environmental toxins as the guilty agent. It is possible there may be more than one cause of autism.
So, which toxins could possibly be linked with autism and other brain development caused disorders.
In Europe there has been no significant increase in autism rates in the last decade. The fact that the member countries of the European Union are some of the sixty countries worldwide to have restricted or banned the production and selling of genetically modified organisms and their accompanying pesticides may be indicative. United States government agencies approved many pesticides banned elsewhere. The Environmental Protection Agency recently raised the allowable concentration levels of glyphosate ‘Roundup’ used on food crops, cooking oils and animal feeds. Although there is no conclusive evidence, it must be important to consider genetically modified organisms and the pesticides and herbicides used upon them, especially as these have been linked to many other health problems.
Choosing to free your own environment from harmful toxins and pesticides can contribute towards improved health. We have become so desensitized to such things that we no longer notice them. It is only when they are absent that one realizes how they affect everyone.
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