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Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed piece in the NY Times raises the subject of environmental toxins as one possible cause for the current high incidence of autism.
It used to be a fringe view, he says, but now it is a mainstream concern to the medical establishment, specifically to toxicologists, endocrinologists and oncologists.
In the peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, an article by Philip J. Landrigan , professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and director of its department of preventive medicine, makes explicit that chemicals in the environment are one culprit.
To view the abstract: http://tinyurl.com/yklx26v. (Access to the complete article requires registration.)
The article cites “historically important, proof-of-concept studies that specifically link autism to environmental exposures experienced prenatally.” And it adds that the “likelihood is high” that many chemicals “have potential to cause injury to the developing brain and to produce neurodevelopmental disorders.”
According to Kristof, the article is full of cautionary language. However Landrigan says he feels increasingly confident that autism and other ailments are — in part — the result of the impact of environmental chemicals on the developing brain.
To read Kristof’s entire article, visit http://tinyurl.com/yzbe3q4.
Studies have found that a disproportionate share of children develop autism after they are exposed in the womb to medications such as thalidomide (sedative), misoprostol (ulcer medicine) and valproic acid (an anticonvulsant).
Fetuses seem most vulnerable during the first trimester.
Another concern are certain phthalates which are commonly found in fragrances, shampoos, cosmetics and nail polish. When found in the urine of pregnant women, studies have shown that their children years later were more likely to display disruptive behavior.
sole source: NY Times article by Nick Kristof on 2/25/2010. www.nytimes.com. Kristof invites you to follow his blog, “On the Ground,” and join him on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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