Top 10 Toxic Chemicals Linked to Autism and Learning Disabilities

by on July 25th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

According to The Mount Sinai Medical Center, the National Academy of Sciences has concluded that three percent of all neurobehavioral disorders in children, including autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), have a direct link to toxic exposure in the environment, while another twenty-five percent are a result of a blend of environmental factors and genetics.1

While exact environmental factors are not yet known, the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) at Mount Sinai has identified ten toxins found in consumer products  that likely play a significant role. According to the researchers, the findings are especially notable because this knowledge raises the awareness that some environmental causes may be potentially preventable.

The top ten chemicals that CEHC identified include:2

  1. Lead
  2. Methylmercury
  3. PCBs
  4. Organophosphate pesticides
  5. Organochlorine pesticides
  6. Endocrine disruptors
  7. Automotive exhaust
  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  9. Brominated flame retardants
  10. Perfluorinated compounds

HealthyChild.org has compiled a checklist of healthy living tips that can help reduce the risk of contamination with such chemicals. Among them include reduced exposure to pesticides and plastics, which are some of the most common chemicals. By simply removing your shoes before  entering a house, you can help avoid tracking pesticides onto carpets and rugs, the Web site notes.3

Though natural alternatives to plastic like textiles, solid wood, bamboo, glass, and stainless steel are ideal, when purchasing plastic items, get familiar with better alternatives, such as high-density polyethylene (commonly used in milk jugs and yogurt cups) versus polyethylene terephthalate (commonly used in soda and water bottles).4

Sources:

1. The Mount Sinai Medical Center, “Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center Publishes a List of the Top Ten Toxic Chemicals Suspected to Cause Autism and Learning Disabilities,” MountSinai.org.

2. Ibid.

3. Christopher Gavigan, “ Healthy Child Healthy World,” HealthyChild.org.

4. Ibid.

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