Direct Link Between Autism and Insecticide?

insecticide linked to autism

A study published in Newsweek magazine has found an unnerving link between a higher rate of autism diagnoses and a mosquito insecticide.

The Study at a Glance

Steve Hicks, a physician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Pen State College of Medicine, examined data listing rates of autism diagnoses in eight New York City zip codes where the spraying of pyrethroids – a common class of insecticide – is carried out during the summer months.

He and his team then compared the data with those in 16 surrounding zip codes where mosquito control is carried out through pellets spread on the ground.

There was a 25% higher rate of autism among the plane-spread group.

Among the 19,000 children living in the eight zip code areas that were sprayed by planes, there were 159 cases of autism. In the 16 pellet-controlled zip code areas, 298 out of 44,000 children were eventually diagnosed with autism.

The research by Hicks and his team comes on the heels of a finding from a CHARGE Study (Childhood Autism Risks From Genetics and the Environment) which revealed that if expecting mothers were exposed to pyrethroids and two other common pesticides in their third trimester, their children were much more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Autism and Environmental Risk Factors

While presenting his team’s findings, Hicks speculated that while 50% of autism cases stem from genetics, the other 50% result from exposure to unhealthy environmental factors.

“In a child who is genetically predisposed (to autism), there might be one environmental trigger that could push them over the edge into a diagnosis,” he said.

If Your Child Has Been Diagnosed With Autism, Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm

The first paper identifying autistic children was published in 1943. Since that time, medical science has still been unable to discover a direct cause for autism.

As Dr. Hicks pointed out, it is assumed there are both genetic and environmental causes for the condition.

If you’d like for us to help you find out why your child has developed autism, we urge you to get in touch with us here at The Fitzgerald Law Firm. If medical malpractice or environmental toxins are found to be involved, we’ll seek compensation for your child.

Call us today for a free consultation. Our number is 800-323-9900.