An article in a forthcoming issue of a peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, just posted online a potential link between toxins exposure and brain didorders such as autism in kids. The author is Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, professor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and chairman of the school’s department of preventive medicine.
The article cites "historically important, proof-of-concept studies that specifically link autism to environmental exposures experienced prenatally." The "likelihood is high" that many chemicals "have potential to cause injury to the developing brain and to produce neurodevelopmental disorders."
Suspicions of toxins arise partly because studies have found that disproportionate shares of children develop autism after they are exposed in the womb to medications such as thalidomide (a sedative), misoprostol (ulcer medicine) and valproic acid (anticonvulsant). Of children born to women who took valproic acid early in pregnancy, 11 percent were autistic. In each case, fetuses seem most vulnerable to these drugs in the first trimester of pregnancy, sometimes just a few weeks after conception.
Sources: Current Opinion in Pediatrics and NYTimes