10 Chemicals Linked to Autism and Learning Disabilities

10 Chemicals Linked to Autism and Learning Disabilities

Learn about the 10 common environmental toxins that have been linked to autism and learning disabilities, and how to avoid them.

More and more research is drawing a link between neurodevelopmental disabilities and environmental toxins found in everyday products. Now a recent editorial published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives listed 10 widespread chemicals that are to blame.

While more science needs to be done to learn more about the complex relationship between these environmental factors and genetics, it’s clear that genetics alone aren’t enough to explain the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other learning disabilities. According to the editorial, “Autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental retardation, dyslexia, and other biologically based disorders of brain development affect between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born in the United States each year.”

The list
Yes, it’s a scary-looking list of words. But with each chemical, we’ve also included a link you can follow to an alive article or blog post explaining more about the chemical and how you can take simple steps to avoid it.

  1. Lead
  2. Methylmercury 
  3. PCBs 
  4. Organophosphate pesticides 
  5. Organochlorine pesticides 
  6. Endocrine disruptors 
  7. Automotive exhaust 
  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons 
  9. Brominated flame retardants 
  10. Perfluorinated compounds 

While these are certainly not the only harmful chemicals encountered in our daily activities, they top the list as the most prevalent. And while research is being done, there’s certainly no harm in avoiding them as much as possible on a day-to-day basis.

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