Autism and the Environment 101: Online Course 8

Our Changing Environment

In the past century, there has been a dramatic increase in the invention and production of new chemicals, many of which are noxious and toxic by design (e.g., pesticides, industrial solvents, and many others that have toxic side-effects). There are nearly 100,000 chemicals and millions of combinations of these chemicals, that did not exist 100 years ago.

People used to think that these chemicals were safe, but as science becomes more powerful and sensitive, we are discovering more and more ways that they cause harm.

We now appreciate that these new-to-nature chemicals are putting a strain on the natural functions of the earth and compromising the environment’s stability. They are also putting a strain on health of human beings as well as plants, animals and other organisms. At the same time as we see rises in autism, we are facing a rise in many human and animal illnesses including cancer, allergies, and immune, autoimmune and degenerative illnesses. Rates for Alzheimer’s, Type I diabetes, asthma, lupus, MS, celiac disease and other illnesses are on the rise.

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