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Is chemical intolerance a driver of the autism epidemic?

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Is there a link between the epidemic of autism and ADHD (attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder) and pollutants in the environment?

Parents with a chemical intolerance are 5.7 times more likely to have a child with autism compared to those who don’t have any intolerance.  They are also twice as likely to have an ADHD child.

There has been a three-fold increase in autism since 2000—it now affects one in 36 children in the US—and researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Centre believe it could be driven by higher levels of pollutants and toxins in the environment.

In an earlier study, the researchers had noted a strong link between chemical intolerance and mast cells, the immune system’s first responders that release thousands of inflammatory molecules, known as mediators, when they are in contact with chemicals and viruses.

From that, they surmise that ADHD and autism may be the result of mast cell activation in the chemically intolerant parent while she is pregnant.

The researchers surveyed around 8,000 people for their level of chemical intolerance and the extent of autism and ADHD in the family.

People thinking of starting a family can check out their chemical intolerance levels along with their home and working environments for possible exposures, the researchers say.

What do you think? Start a conversation over on the... WDDTY Community

Journal of Xenobiotics, 2024; 14: 350; doi: 10.3390/jox14010022
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