Vaccines aren't listed as a cause of autism by Higgs, but at least someone is attempting to show a cause. Most proponents of vaccines are prone to say they haven't the slightest idea what causes autism, they're only sure it's not the vaccines. There's no doubt that there are other causes of autism, and we must discover and expose all of them, so parents can make intelligent choices about their children's safety.
- Steven Higgs
One of the nation's leading voices on children's environmental health has called for focused and expanded research into the cause-effect relation between industrial chemicals and autism.
"Long and tragic experience that began with studies of lead and methylmercury has documented that toxic chemicals can damage the developing human brain to produce a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders," Dr. Philip Landrigan from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine wrote in a Jan. 16, 2010, article in the medical journal Current Opinion in Pediatrics.
Today's children, he noted, "are at risk of exposure to 3,000 synthetic chemicals produced in quantities of more than 1 million pounds per year, termed high-production-volume (HPV) chemicals. HPV chemicals are found in a wide array of consumer goods, cosmetics, medications, motor fuels and building materials."
Eight of those 3,000 have been "implicated" in the development of "neurodevelopmental disabilities," Landrigan wrote. And a recent review of the world's literature identified roughly 200 industrial chemicals that have been documented to be neurotoxic in adult humans.
"These are primarily industrial chemicals -- metals, solvents and pesticides -- and nearly half are HPV materials," Landrigan wrote in the paper titled What causes autism? Exploring the environmental contribution. "This search also produced a second list of approximately 1,000 chemicals that have not been examined in humans but that are neurotoxic in experimental models."
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