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Are environmental toxins causing autism?

Parents Want to Know – Are Environmental Toxins Causing Autism?

Clean rooms to help determine if environmental toxins causing autism.

Despite all the research and investigations no one has been able to pinpoint any causes of autism. Not knowing the cause makes treatment and autism therapy to treating symptoms. With all the stress and emotional issues that affect a family dealing with autism the debate about the cause of autism grows more heated everyday.  Many say its the environmental toxins causing autism and other argue mutated genes.

No causes of autism have been found, and mostly the debate is about the austsm being caused by genetic disorders or toxins in the environment. Air-borne chemicals, chemicals in food, paints, toys and just about everywhere else they appear are suspect.

That’s why Dr. Faber of The Childrens Institue, want to test the theory that the causes of autism can be found in environmental pollutants and toxins. Their plans are to create a toxin free environment for autistic children to detox in.  Dr Faber is a respected pediatrician with a long list of patients that want to be seen by him.
He is a believer in toxic causes of autism with the help of the Childrens Institute wants to do a scientific study to determine just how much.

In a story By Timothy McNulty of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dr Fabers ideas are detailed…

With childhood autism cases skyrocketing and no cure in sight, doctors at the Children’s Institute in Squirrel Hill are planning on a Hail Mary pass approach to the mysterious disorder — housing young patients for weeks at a time in a pollutant-free “clean room,” in an attempt to detoxify their bodies…

Clean rooms are common in high-tech manufacturing and research environments and have been used in hospital settings for patients struggling with infectious diseases and transplants. They have also been used to treat children with autism, but only in patients’ homes, largely in work by Virginia researcher and nutritionist Karen Slimak.

Are Environmental Toxins Causing Autism

Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette Dr. Scott Faber talks about the plan for an environmental pediatric room at the Children's Institute in Squirrel Hill.

Dr. Faber noted that Ms. Slimak’s clean room work — like much of the research on toxicity in autism — “hasn’t been written for the main [scientific] literature” but instead has been written mostly for the Internet. The Children’s Institute plan would be taking what is arguably a fringe movement into the mainstream: It would be the first autism treatment of this kind staged in an American hospital setting. It will be matched with scientific analysis, sensors and video cameras to study the real impacts of detoxification. The data and findings will be shared openly, he said.

Families often say their environmental suspicions about the disorder aren’t taken seriously.

“I can give you a detailed account of how I know that exposure to toxic mold has caused my son’s autism. I have been saying it for years and no one believes me. They think I am crazy, even a [Defeat Autism Now doctor] we once saw,” said a message posted by a parent on the AutismWeb.com bulletin board in March

Dr. Faber, 49, is a neurodevelopmental and developmental behavioral pediatrician with 24 years in the field….

He has been trying to build the scientific case that environmental factors such as toxic chemicals do trigger autistic symptoms. His findings are complicated, but basically blood tests show 70 percent of his autistic patients have zinc deficiencies (pointing to problems with processing heavy metals), and the vast majority also have immune system problems of varying kinds.

“We know that the data for this is just emerging, but we feel it’s a very safe intervention, and it’s empowering for families and very reasonable,” he said.

For more you can read the entire story here…

The approach is novel but the results will give us scientific feedback. It will be interesting to see if the patients show signs of improvement that are clinicaly viable. With they improve in language skills and interpersonal relationships? can they learn to focus better and not be affected so much by outside stimuli?

It’s not unthinkable that genetic disorders are brought about by environmental factors. What with all the chemicals being strewn about these days. It seems the answer for everything is a chemical.

What do you think.  Are environmental toxins causing autism? Or how much do environmental toxins play in being one of the causes of autism?

One Response to Are environmental toxins causing autism?

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