Ever since I’ve had kids and developed an obsession with the autism epidemic, I worry. About my kids. My friend's kids. My first boyfriend used to talk constantly about moving to New Zealand, where he thought that things were simple and safe. He really had something stuck in his craw about all of the chemicals we use in the United States and how it might affect us.
Mind you, this was over 20 years ago when I was 16 years old, so I simply thought he was an alarmist and a premature geezer. I think about how cutting-edge Mr. Boyfriend really was.
The latest flashback struck when I came across a recent article by Stephen Barrie, ND, on The Huffington Post. The title, "Child Autism Epidemic Firmly Linked to the Environment," says it all.
Because autism rates in this country are now so high (today there are 60 times more American kids with autism than in the '70s) -- as well as the ever elevating related costs (in the tens of billions) -- the Senate got together to talk about what they like to call “State of Research on Potential Environmental Health Factors With Autism.” Well, the research seems pretty conclusive, and as soon as I’m done typing, I’m going to ransack my kitchen for risky items.
Basically, this article is full of experts and doctors saying, in varying different words, that:
“... the primary explanation for the dramatic increase in autism is toxic environmental exposure and gene-environment interactions. New research shows that even low-dose, multiple toxic and infectious exposures may be a key factor to the onset of autism.”
I’ve spent countless hours talking about autism with my fellow parent pals, wondering what (what! what!) is going on and wishing someone would just figure out that thing that is causing so many children to suffer. Apparently, it’s not a thing, it’s a whole way of life that is affecting our babies. What's so frustrating is that we can’t see it. I have two daughters who are not autistic, but it’s really hitting me now that they are not out of the woods. What about their babies?
According to Barrie, “Exposure to toxic chemicals by pregnant women, fetuses, and children has a high probability of causing autism and other neuro-developmental disorders and learning disabilities in those whose genetic profile expresses in a reduced ability to detoxify these chemicals. This is not 'fringe' science; it's fact.”
There’s a good chance that my girls will be pregnant women one day. I REALLY hope that we get things cleaned up in this country stat! Now, excuse me while I research HEPA filters for the bedrooms.
What do you think of the autism and environment link? Does it concern you?
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