Environmental health and autism experts Tuesday called for reform of the outdated U.S. law regulating chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
They warned that the recent sharp rise in autism is likely due, in part, to the cocktail of toxic chemicals that pregnant women, fetuses, babies and young children encounter.
“Lead, mercury, and other neurotoxic chemicals have a profound effect on the developing brain at levels that were once thought to be safe. With some complex combination of insults, little brains reach a tipping point,” warned Donna Ferullo, director of program research at The Autism Society, told reporters on a conference call convened by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition.
The nationwide coalition represents more than 11 million people, including parents, health professionals, advocates for people with learning and developmental disabilities, reproductive health advocates, environmentalists and businesses.
Today in the United States, about one in every 110 children has autism, a disorder of neural development characterized by abnormalities of social interactions and communication, severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior. Boys are affected more than girls – one in every 70 boys will have autism.
[Source: Environment News Service via the Autism News]