The journal Environmental Health Perspectives recently published an editorial that calls for increased research into the environmental causes of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders. With three percent of all neurobehavioral disorders in children caused by toxic environmental exposures, and another 25 percent caused by interactions between environmental factors and genetics, as reported by the National Academy of Sciences, the lack of science in this area is appalling.
“A large number of the chemicals in widest use have not undergone even minimal assessment of potential toxicity and this is of great concern,” stated co-author Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, “Knowledge of environmental causes of neurodevelopmental disorders is critically important because they are potentially preventable.” The top ten chemicals recommended for more research:
- PCBs (common in home construction materials)
- Organophosphate pesticides (non-organic foods)
- Organochlorine pesticides
- Endocrine disruptors (such as BPA)
- Automotive exhaust
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pollution)
- Brominated flame retardants (upholstery, carpeting, children’s pajamas)
- Perfluorinated compounds (Teflon and non-stick pans)
If these are the toxins suspected to contribute to conditions like autism and ADHD, I say we need to do something about them now. Avoid these toxins when possible, and support your body’s detoxification with a healthy diet, regular cleansing, plenty of water, and exercise.