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10 Suspect Causes of Autism

Autism.  Funny, I’ve never thought of myself as an alarmist.  You know, one of those guys that runs around shouting, “look out, look out”.  I still don’t.  I picture myself as someone that sees a population ready to be hit by a bus and I’m shouting, “look out for the bus”.  God, what are we supposed to do? I’m choosing to try and make a few people aware of the problems.

I do know that there has been an 80% increase in Autism and Learning Disabilities in the last few years and it CAN NOT be just genetics.  HELLO, IT HAS TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL! – Picture me running around with my arms in the air shouting, “look out for the bus, look out for the bus”.  For those out there that are a little slow to catch my lame metaphor, the bus is the industrial chemicals being pumped into our systems faster than nature can deal with them.  The result can only be disease, birth defects and species extinction.  Just look at the so called “empty hive” syndrome with the honey bees. -jughandle

The following is a great article from Rodale.com that points out just 10 of the potential causes:

10 Suspect Causes of Autism & Learning Disabilities

Researchers name chemicals suspected of causing autism and other serious disorders in children.
BY LEAH ZERBE

Autism risk: More than just genetics?

When it comes to autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities, genetics is only part of the story. In fact, in trying to figure out what causes autism, researchers are proving that environmental factors—everything from farm chemicals to soda and shampoo ingredients—could be permanently messing with children’s brain development. Today, in an unprecedented move, some of the world’s leading experts published a new list of highly suspect chemicals and heavy metals believed to be behind the surge in cases of autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases. “We have very powerful, very sophisticated tools we can use to measure chemicals at very low levels,” explains Phil Landrigan, MD, coauthor of the list and professor and chair of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. “It’s now possible to connect early exposure to problems in childhood.”

Dr. Landrigan says the goal of the list, published inEnvironmental Health Perspectives, is to inform more doctors and nurses about the environmental triggers of autism, to increase funding for more studies, and to ultimately change chemical regulation in this country to better protect our children.

1. Lead

This heavy metal has been shown to cause brain damage to developing babies, causing a lifetime of learning and health implications. Lead is also linked to depression in young adults.

Where is it? The powerful neurotoxin is most often found in old paint, but can also leach from older plumbing. (the fat farm recommends that every household have a reverse osmosis water filter for their drinking and cooking water.)

Avoid it! Refrain from removing old paint if you’re trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, or if small children are in the house. If you fear your water contains lead, call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline for help. In the meantime, a diet low in fat and high in calcium and iron, with foods like low-fat dairy and leafy green vegetables, can help block some harmful lead exposure.

 

2. Mercury

The mercury created from coal-fired power plants winds up in rivers, streams, and oceans; the heavy metal is toxic to the brains of developing fetuses and could cause irreversible damage. (If you didn’t know, a large percentage of coal is piped into the plants via pipelines.  The coal is in the form of a slurry and something must be done with the water.  Huge retention ponds are formed to let the water seep back into the ground – yes, ground water and near by streams then carry the chemical containing water into our lakes and oceans for the fish to eat.  The older the fish the more mercury – jughandle)

Where is it? The damaging form of mercury accumulates in species of fatty fish that grow to be large and higher up the food chain; consuming these fish is the No. 1 source of human exposure. Mercury has also been detected in high-fructose corn syrup.

Avoid it! Choose healthier options from the superfish list, including wild-caught Alaskan salmon or Pacific wild sardines.

 

3. PCBs

Once used in electronics, PCBs bear the unfortunate distinction of never breaking down in the environment. And a little of them can do a lot of damage: Small doses can disrupt healthy nerve cell functioning and throw off the body’s natural calcium signaling, which could increase some children’s autism risk.

Where is it? PCBs are found all over the environment—and inside most of us. (it accumulates in the fat of our bodies and the meat we eat)

Avoid it! Eat lower on the food chain; PCBs accumulate in animal fat. Removing fish skin and trimming fatty parts of meat can help cut back on your family’s PCB exposure.

 

4. Organochlorine Pesticides

The now-banned DDT is the most notorious organochlorine pesticide, but others in its class remain in use and are implicated in birth defect and autism clusters.

Where is it? Mostly causing damage in farming communities, this type of bug-killing chemical has been linked to an increased risk in autism among children born to mothers living in high-spray agricultural areas.

Avoid it! Support organic farming to reduce your risk of eating pesticide residues, as well as to protect people who live near or work on chemical farm operations. Children’s greatest organochlorine exposure comes from conventional snap beans, tomatoes, and watermelons, so especially concentrate on sourcing these produce items organically.

5. Automotive Exhaust

Recent studies link air pollution from vehicle exhaust to memory problems, brain damage, and an increased risk of autism. A prior study found that children born to women living within 1,000 feet of major highways are twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism years later.

Where is it? In the air in areas exposed to heavy traffic.

Avoid it! Drive less or carpool to cut back on air pollution, commute during less busy hours, and if you live close to a major roadway, consider investing in a high-quality air purifier that does not produce ozone, such as IQAir models.

6. Brominated Flame Retardants

Created to slow down the rate of burning in the case of a household fire, flame retardants are largely useless and have been shown to actually hasten death from smoke inhalation. Over the long term, children born to mothers with high levels of these chemicals in their bodies have lower IQs and perform more poorly in mental and physical development testing.

Where is it? They’re found in furniture, electronics, certain sodas and sports drinks, and even household dust.

Avoid it! Avoid furniture that meets California’s TB117 law, a regulation that promotes the use of flame retardant chemicals. Be diligent about wet-mopping in the house and use a HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum to reduce flame retardant–laced dust. Opt for natural flooring materials, not carpeting and carpet padding, which could harbor flame retardants. As for the beverage aisle, steer clear of Mountain Dew and certain Gatorade and Powerade flavors that list BVO—brominated vegetable oil, a flame retardant—as an ingredient. (just another reason to limit your liquid intake to water)

7. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Carcinogens that are formed when meat is burned, PAHs are also among a category of 10,000 chemicals created from the burning of oil, garbage, coal, or wood. The compounds can damage DNA, hamper normal development, and impair fetal growth.

Where is it? Aside from burned meat, PAHs are abundant in coal-tar-based driveway sealants and anti-dandruff shampoos, cigarette smoke, and mothballs.

Avoid it! Opt for nontoxic mothball alternatives, shun cigarette smoke, and look for safer driveway sealants that are free of coal-tar ingredients.

8. Organophosphate Pesticides

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, is still one of the most widely used farm chemicals in the U.S.

Where is it? Banned from residential uses, this pesticide is still legal in agriculture, and residues have turned up on apples, bell peppers, cranberries, kale, grapes, peaches, and dozens of other foods.

Avoid it! Eat organic as often as possible. Studies have proven that pesticide levels in the body plummet when consumers switch to an organic eating regimen.

9. Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

Prenatal exposure to even tiny doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals could irreversibly alter a child’s health.

Where is it? Bisphenol A (BPA) and plasticizing chemicals called phthalates are prime suspects linked to socialization and aggression problems in children, along with stunted growth, learning disabilities, and lower IQ. These chemicals are used in hundreds of everyday products, including soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and air fresheners.

Avoid it! Keep BPA out of your system by avoiding canned foods and beverages, as well as No. 7 plastics. To reduce phthalate exposure, nix scented candles and air fresheners, and avoid personal care products that list “parfum” or “fragrance” as an ingredient.

10. Nonstick Chemicals

More studies cropping up suggest the convenience of nonstick cookware might not be worth the anticipated health costs: ADHD in children and high cholesterol and infertility issues in adults.

Where is it? In nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and certain stain-repelling fabrics used in carpeting and furniture.

Avoid it! When you start seeing scratches and chips in your nonstick cookware, replace it with safer American-made cast iron or untreated stainless steel. Also, pass on furniture and carpet treatments offering stain protection. (and never cook with your non stick pan on high- the coating will break down and become vaporized. – jughandle)

 

What does Pesticide Residue Due to Us?

According to an article in The Daily Fix, Pesticides do at least 7 crazy things to our bodies:

I am reproducing the following article with out permission because I think this is a VERY important topic we should be totally aware of – jughandle

7 Crazy Things Pesticides Are Doing to Your Body

Agrochemicals, home bug sprays, and lawn treatments could be causing chronic illness in your family.

BY LEAH ZERBE

 

 

Pesticides are designed to kill, although the mode of action they use to put the stranglehold on pests varies. Whether it’s nerve gas–like neurological disruption, the unbalancing of key hormones, or the stunting of a plant’s ability to absorb life-sustaining trace minerals from the soil, none of the chemical interventions seems all that appetizing, especially considering that chemical residues routinely wind up on and even inside of the food we eat everyday. Pesticides are also blamed for diminishing mineral levels in foods.

Agrochemical supporters tend to fall back on a “the dose makes the poison” theory, meaning tiny exposures aren’t really that harmful. Increasingly, though, independent scientists are debunking that belief, even proving that incredibly tiny doses could set a person up for health problems that might not crop up until decades down the line. Luckily, eating organic, less processed foods can cut back on your pesticide exposure.

Here are 7 health problems associated with pesticide-based agrochemicals.

Diabetes
Scientists have been noticing a link between pesticides and diabetes for years. The latest evidence comes out of the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting, where Robert Sargis, MD, PhD, released the results of a study that suggest tolyfluanid, a fungicide used on farm crops, creates insulin resistance in fat cells. A 2011 study published in Diabetes Care found that overweight people with higher levels of organochlorine pesticides in their bodies also faced a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Prevent it: To save money on organic fare raised without pesticides, cook with organic dried beans. In the home, avoid using chemical air fresheners and artificially scented products—these things are also blamed for inducing type 2 diabetes.

Read more: 11 Surprising Diabetes Triggers

Cancer
More than 260 studies link pesticides to various cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, and brain, breast, prostate, bone, bladder, thyroid, colon, liver, and lung cancers, among others.

Prevent it: The President’s Cancer Panel suggests eating organic and avoiding plastic to lower your risk of environmentally triggered cancers.

Autism & Other Developmental Diseases
How do you get autism? The world’s leading autism researchers believe the condition develops from a mix of genes and the pollutants encountered in the mother’s womb and early in life. Many insecticides effectively kill bugs by throwing off normal neurological functioning. That same thing appears to be happening in some children. A 2010 Harvard study found that children with organophosphate pesticide breakdown materials in their urine were far more likely to live with ADHD than kids without the trace pesticide residues.

Prevent it: Switching to an organic diet rapidly eliminates pesticide residues in the body.

Obesity
Some agrochemical pesticides act as hormone disruptors, meaning they act like a fake version of a naturally occurring hormone in your body, they block important hormone communication pathways in the body, or they interfere with your body’s ability to regulate the healthy release of hormones. More than 50 pesticides are classified as hormone disruptors, and some of them promote metabolic syndrome and obesity as they accumulate in your cells, according to 2012 study appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Parkinson’s Disease
More than 60 studies show a connection between pesticides and the neurological disease Parkinson’s, a condition characterized by uncontrolled trembling. The association is strongest for weed- and bug-killing chemical exposures over a long period of time, meaning it’s important to keep these toxic compounds out of your household routine.

Prevent it: Don’t turn to chemical interventions to kill bugs in your home or garden. Instead, use natural pest control measures.

Infertility
Pesticides spell trouble in the baby-making department, thanks to their bad habit of not staying put. For instance, atrazine, a common chemical weed killer used heavily in the Midwest, on Southern sugar cane farms, and on golf courses, has been detected in tap water. Doctors and scientists point to published evidence tying atrazine to increased miscarriage and infertility rates. Other pesticides cause a plunge in male testosterone levels. A 2006 study found chlorpyrifos, a chemical used in nonorganic apple and sweet pepper farming, and carbaryl, a go-to pesticide in strawberry fields and peach orchards, caused abnormally low testosterone levels.

Prevent it: Avoid the worst summer fruit, the kinds most likely to be laced with toxic pesticides. Instead, choose organic grapes, strawberries, and imported plums.

Birth Defects
Babies conceived during the spring and summer months—a time of year when pesticide use is in full swing—face the highest risk of birth defects. During these months, higher pesticide levels turn up in surface waters, increasing a mother’s risk of exposure. Spina bifida, cleft lip, clubfoot, and Down syndrome rates are higher when moms become pregnant during high season for pesticides.

Prevent it: To protect yourself, use a water filter that is certified by NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute Standard 53 for VOC (volatile organic compound) reduction. This will significantly reduce levels of atrazine and other pesticides in your tap water.

Save our Children

Thanks to input from concerned parents like my nieces, Cristy, Kellie and Heather, beginning January 1, 2012, Jughandle’s Fat Farm is implementing a new globally available program to provide safe food information for anyone buying food for their children.

Goal

Our goal is to provide a data base of food names that can be easily searched using a smart phone while shopping in the grocery store.  We are already working on an app that will allow the shopper to simply scan a food’s bar code with their phone and within seconds a symbol will appear that will tell the user whether or not the food meets the “Safe Kid” food standard.

The data base information will be available on the menu bar of this blog to get complete additive and nutritional information on each food as fast as we can enter it.  Look for the “Kid Safe” menu item.

In addition to the the Kid Safe data base, the Fat Farm intends to campaign to our local governments, congress and national representatives as well as to join existing efforts to change and implement necessary legislation to test all food additives for long term effects on growing children’s minds and bodies.

We Need Your Help

We will need your help to make this work.  We need you to submit to us the name and manufacturer of the food you’d like information on.  Please just drop us an email at jughandle@jughandlesfatfarm.com to tell me about what you buy for your children to eat.  We’ll do the research that will allow you to make informed decisions about the food that fuels your child’s growth.

Standards

You are the only one capable of deciding what is safe for your children to eat.  We are only going to provide information and recommendations to make it easier for you to decide.

Additives

The focus of this data base is not going to be calories and nutritional information like we’d use for an adult diet plan.  The focus is going to be on food additives and chemical preservatives.  From an article posted by Robyn O’Brian in 2009:

The Kid Safe Chemical Act addresses the fact that back in 1976, with the passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), legislation was approved that allowed over 60,000 chemicals in existence at that time to be deemed ‘safe’ for use without a single thorough test to prove that to be true. And in the three-plus decades since the law was passed, an additional 20,000 chemicals have been rushed into the marketplace with little or no safety tests.

Today, 1 in 3 American children has allergies, ADHD, autism or asthma, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reporting stunning increases in the number of children expected to be insulin dependent by the time they reach adulthood. With 17.6% of our GDP being consumed by health costs, there is an urgent need to address the health of our children and the impact that this generation of children is having on our country, our families and our health care system.

The Kid Safe Chemicals Act, or Kid-Safe, would help protect the health of the American children by placing the burden of proof on the chemical industry, requiring manufacturers to first prove a chemical is actually safe before it’s allowed into a consumer product. Currently, all of these chemicals are allowed into the marketplace until they are proven dangerous.

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/kid-safe-chemical-act-460608#ixzz1i6iKUMgw

If that clip scares you, consider that it was written in 2009!  40 years ago when I was in school I didn’t know any one  who suffered from ADHD, autism or even asthma.  Today with more that 1 in 3 children showing symptoms of these problems, it has to be more that even environmental factors.  It has to be in our food.

Work In Progress

This “Kid Safe” program was dreamed up by my niece Cristy just last night.  After learning that the color additives to her child’s food are unsafe, Cristy spent 2 1/2 hours “Goggling” everything she put into her  shopping cart.  Cristy’s idea, that we are kicking off today, is to be able to quickly check a food while shopping to see if it is safe for her child.

Conclusions and Recommendations

We will work a fast as possible to fill the data base with valid information and products.  Please provide us with your personal products so that we can make this project immediately viable for you.  – jughandle