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
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.