The latest research on the cause(s) of autism as vaccines are no longer considered to be a factor. The effects of what’s present in our environment is key, and reducing that exposure is essential -
RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The 1998 study that led people to believe that autism is caused by a common childhood vaccination has been debunked, once again, this time with an article in the British Medical Journal calling the study fraudulent. Meanwhile, researchers who long ago dismissed the vaccine theory have been on the hunt to find more credible causes of the developmental disease that strikes 1 out of every 110 children born in the United States. While studies have suggested that as many as 90 percent of autism cases could be genetic in origin, a growing number of autism researchers now believe that it is not just genetics, but also the interplay between genes and environmental exposures that could be triggering a large percentage of autism cases. “It’s unquestionable that there’s a genetic component, but on the other hand, it’s becoming equally clear that genetics is not the only culprit,” pediatrician Phil Landrigan, MD, MSc, director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center, said last month at an autism meeting at the New York Academy of Medicine.
Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and one of 14 prominent researchers to present during the meeting, stressed the importance of understanding that environmental factors aren’t just limited to industrial and agricultural chemicals, but also include physical agents like radiation, drugs, and food, socioeconomic factors, and even the microflora in our guts, and how they respond to different environmental compounds. Causes of autism, like causes of cancer, researchers said, could be a number of environmental exposures.