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Another Smoking Gun for Environment/autism Link

Safeminds 2014 LogoAn analysis of 100 million US medical records reveals that autism and intellectual disability rates correlate with genital malformation incidence in newborn males, an indicator of exposure to harmful environmental factors. The study also finds that Autism and intellectual disability incidence decreases dramatically in states with stronger regulations on diagnosis.  Read article

An innovative methodology from researchers at the University of Chicago was used to detect the role of environment on population level for autism risk. The study shows the strong contribution of non-genetic, i.e., environmental factors driving autism rates. Our only quibble is the author’s supposition that vaccines play a weak role. This inference is due to the methodology not incorporating time trends but only single time point geographic differences. Since vaccines are given across geographies, this methodology would not be able to detect any effect of the burgeoning vaccination schedule over time. Nevertheless, a much needed and welcomed study.

Read the full post at the SafeMinds site.


Eric Uram

This post was only meant to encourage proactive comment to those who can address this problem. We drew our conclusions from the authors' work on connections. Given the lack of research on direct connections, we are left with these less direct ones for discussion. But, the smoking gun predicts we would know more if we looked here.

Why aren't we looking? That's an unknown, but we read it as poor leadership in getting us answers.

Where is the federal research to help define the problems so we can get to the solution? That answer is known - looking heavily at genetics.

What is the solution? Better leadership in our government's response to autism and research that looks where the evidence points....

One additional point -- researchers shouldn't draw conclusions about connections (like vaccines) when no basis exists to make such statements.


Thank You Betty for explaining.
Linda said it best and in a shorter form - but she was right.
If I understand you correctly ---the authors of this research paper did not bother to show established research on the effects of the environmental toxins on male genitals.

I guess the authors should have referenced the science literature to show the past establishment of genital malformations, then ???? That would be easy enough to do. Maybe we should contact them and make that suggestion.

Because it is established in the scientific literature,-- that the environmental toxins acting on the hypothalamus does cause malformation. Back in the 70-80s, and early 90s there were huge amounts (gluttonous amount) of scientific literature published about the effects of various toxins on rats' hypothalamus- and all that it effects including genital malformation-- as well as behavior (agression mostly), being too fat, being too thin. problems with sugar levels, seizures.

Sometimes in my darkest moments - I think a bunch of lunatics in high places was reading it all and said hmmmmm sounds like a good way to reduce the population of humans -- Well -- after all -- all my environmental text books at the times - spent the first 6 chapters talking about human population growth, how it will effect natural resources and how to reduce the population of humans and at the same time all the research e was about the effects of toxins on hypothalamus. -- well that and the rest of the science literature was about how the ozone hole was effecting everything -- which was a complete fraud, and bull crap.

Nothing like spending hours in the library reading science papers of just pure fraud.
I could tell there was something wrong with the ozone papers - all were over reaching. But- trusting me thought they were moral human beings.
But in spite of the ozone hole papers there was good solid research on the effects toxins on hypothalamus..

Betty Bona

@Benedetta - I agree with you that the paper makes sense when we think about damage to the hypothalamus and what that would look like including the reproductive problems the researchers used to show exposure to toxins. And I agree with the paper's conclusions that environmental toxins are associated with autism. But I'm not sure all scientists agree that, as a matter of scientifically proven fact, environmental insults are associated with reproductive malformations. That seems to be a premise or standard used in this paper without proof of its validity. If that standard is not proven to the reader's satisfaction, then the reader has no reason to believe the rest of the paper. It's just too easy to deny the validity of the paper because they used an unproven standard. Basically they're saying, "If we agree that environmental toxins result in reproductive malformations, then we have proven that autism results from environmental toxins. I don't think everyone agrees, and they didn't even attempt to prove it are really convince me that it is an accepted scientific truth. I only skimmed, so I could be wrong, but the paper seems weak to me.


John Stone;
I did not read the paper, so I am not sure what you mean it is hard to interpret.

However; this does makes sense.
If the hypothalamus is damaged (after birth) by vaccines (and that is what is going on) Then you have all kinds of things going on with the reproductive system.

My own daughter that I thought escaped the vaccines at puberty would not stop her monthly at puberty.

The types of malaformations of males after birth are very minor and might not even be noticed, but by an expert.
The hypothalamus produces a hormone that effects the pitutiary; making that gland release at the right times a growth horomone. Growth hormone has various effects on body growth and sexual development. Insufficient growth hormone may cause poor somatic growth, precocious puberty or gonadotropin deficiency, failure to initiate or complete puberty, and is often associated with rapid weight gain, low T4, and low levels of sex hormones.

THis is no surprise that there are genital malformations and if so it points to the hypohthalamus damage.

I have been wondering for a really long time if there was evidence of this.

Betty Bona

Anyone who doesn't want to believe that environmental factors are involved in autism will find it easy to totally discount this paper. Instead of a direct association, there are layers of association. Of course, those that already believe in the autism/environment connection will follow the reasoning and buy in. It instantly reminds me of Tyrone Hayes and the atrazine controversy with male frogs becoming females. I get it, but I don't like the paper. It's not strong enough for this debate. Somehow, it also reminds me of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. I have no idea why.


Biologists have been finding genital malformations in animals resulting from environmental toxins for many decades, even in some cases to the point of turning one gender completely into another.

John Stone

This paper is very difficult to intepret. Could genital malformations be predictive of susceptibility to further environmental insult.

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