Research indicates other factors besides the genetic component are contributing to the rise in increasing occurrences of ASD, such as environmental toxins (e.g. heavy metals such as mercury), which are more prevalent in our environment than in the past. Findings indicate many children with autism or at risk of developing autism have a metabolic impairment that reduces their ability to rid their bodies of heavy metals and other toxins. Buildup of these toxins in the body can lead to brain and nervous system damage and developmental delays.
The Autism Society’s Environmental Health Project, established in 2006, aims to further our understanding of possible environmental contributors to autism and other health issues, and to continue to build a grassroots community to continue research into and increase awareness of the effects of environmental influences on autism.