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Autism link to chemicals

July 2012

Autism link to chemicals

Contamination from chemicals found in common, everyday items may have a link to autism, research has claimed.
    Online US newspaper Huffington Post reported that even women who took every precaution possible while pregnant gave birth to children with varying stages of autism, which could be linked to migraine medicine, contaminants brought home by their husbands from work, or home decoration work.
    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said autism now affects an estimated one in 88 children in the US, with behavioural and cognitive conditions that fall along the autism spectrum.
    Although it is not claiming a direct link to rising rates of autism and the increasing breadth and reach of synthetic chemicals, it said the possible correlation has raised questions for which scientists are beginning to offer a few answers.
    The report said drugs used decades ago to treat morning sickness, bipolar disorder and ulcers, as well as the insecticide chlorpyrifos, have already been tied to autism.
    A study led by the Environmental Working Group in 2004 found an average of 200 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 babies born in US hospitals.
    However, with about 80,000 chemicals available for industry use, most of which remain untested for toxicity, researchers have plenty more potential culprits to investigate, the CDC said.

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