Study: Lead exposure can cause autism

Warning of lead in gasoline. Credit: Wiki Commons
Warning of lead in gasoline.
Credit: Wiki Commons

Autism symptoms correspond to the level of toxic metal in the blood, with exposure to lead particularly harmful, according to a US study.

Autism sufferers carried 74% more lead in their systems than control subjects, and 115% more tin. Sufferers with more severe symptoms carried higher concentrations of metal, with researchers at Arizona State University finding that toxic metal was the “strongest factor” in determining severity.

“We knew that exposure to lead makes people lose IQ points, and clearly it can induce autism”, lead researcher Professor James Adams told Metro. “The study also showed that people with the highest levels are least able to excrete them”.

Autism was previously thought be largely a hereditary condition but environmental and chemical reasons are now being accepted. “Studies such as this improve our understanding”, said Caroline Hattersley, head of information and advice at the UK-based National Autism Society, calling for “more research…across a greater geographical area.”

It is the latest lead concern, after Metro reported research in January that revealed exposure could induce aggression, violence and brain damage. “Anything to do with the nervous system will be badly affected, we’re only starting to see the full damage”, Professor Howard Mielke, who studied the toxin’s effects in 14 countries, told Metro. “There are huge repercussions for learning ability from just a small change in exposure.”

Lead remains widespread across the world, most commonly in soil and paint. But neither government nor the petrol companies that produced leaded gasoline have taken action to clear it, with the Ethyl Corporation suing environmental groups that attempted to hold it responsible.

In civil courts, hundreds of millions of dollars have been recovered by the victims of lead poisoning, and is a rapidly growing area for compensation claims. The largest award to date is the $320 million paid out to victims of exposure at a St. Louis smelting plant in 2011.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…