DDT pesticide exposure during pregnancy now scientifically linked to autism

Thursday, August 23, 2018
By Paul Martin

by: Isabelle Z.
Thursday, August 23, 2018

Autism and its causes can be a loaded subject. For every person who believes that it’s connected to vaccines and environmental toxins, there will be someone else who wants to convince you that it’s simply a random occurrence. However, there is now little doubt about one potential cause of autism: pesticide exposure.

This link has been discussed for many years, and a new study has found that pregnant women who have higher levels of one pesticide in particular are more likely have children who are diagnosed with autism.

The pesticide in question, DDT, is actually banned but is still found in many foods today. After it was developed in the 1940s, it was used widely to help stem insect-borne diseases like typhus and malaria, in addition to being used on farms. By the late 1950s, however, it became obvious that it was having a negative impact on the environment; the EPA then banned it in the United States in 1972 because of its harmful effects on human health.

Unfortunately, it is still showing up in our food today as it breaks down extremely slowly over the course of several decades. It can be found in meat, fish, dairy products, and vegetables. Even the EPA concedes that it is “very persistent in the environment.” Making matters worse is the fact the chemical transfers across the placenta in greater concentrations than in the mother’s blood.

Study links DDT exposure to autism and autism with intellectual disability

In a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, an international group of researchers led by scientists from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health looked at more than a million pregnancies in Finland. They compared maternal serum samples for more than 700 children with autism with matched control cases of children without autism with similar ages and genders to the autistic cases.

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