Thursday, April 26, 2012

List of chemicals suspected to cause autism and learning disabilities

The rising incidence of autism and
neuodevelopmental disorders has
researchers looking for environmental causes.
Health experts have published a list of the top 10 toxic chemicals that could play a role in the development of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders in children and therefore warrant further research.

The editorial by Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, and Luca Lambertini, PhD, MPH, MSc, from Mount Sinai as well as Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute OF Environmental Health Sciences, was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives alongside other papers that suggested links between chemicals and autism.

Autism and autism-related disorders have been rising in incidence, but the exact environmental causes are still not understood.

A growing number of researchers believe that environmental pollution does have an impact on the development of autism (the hereditary component is also very strong) and that certain toxic chemicals may affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the U.S. each year.

There should be a priority on the research of these environmental pollutants because they are potentially controllable or preventable, the researchers say.

The top 10 chemicals are
  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
Incidentally, many of these chemicals can be found in the home. In older homes, for example, lead particles may be a concern because of lead paint that was used at some point in time.

Automotive exhaust can become a problem indoors as well if a home is located close to a busy road or highway.

Many products (especially children’s products) contain flame retardants that can get into the air and affect children, pets and everyone else.

Other chemicals on the list are persistent organic pollutants or pesticides that can build up in the environment, the food chain and people’s bodies and there may have a big impact as well.

Source: Mount Sinai Medical Center

Filter out indoor air pollutants and chemicals with suitable air purifiers

Every indoor environment can be polluted by airborne chemicals, gases, vapors, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses and molds – and over time, poor indoor air quality has been linked to a variety of health issues.

With source control, ventilation and air cleaning, everyone can reduce the impact of poor indoor air quality.

A good air purifier needs to be equipped with the right air filters, however, to be effective for all of the pollutants mentioned above. Don't waste your money on inferior units.

AllerAir’s air purifiers for the home and office provide the most complete protection by drawing the air through a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of gases and chemicals, a HEPA filter for trapping particles and dust and ultraviolet rays for the neutralization of biological contaminants such as mold and bacteria.

Contact AllerAir for more information and personalized recommendations.