With the number of kids being diagnosed with autism higher than ever — now said to be 1 in 68 versus 1 in 2,000 just a few decades ago — experts haven’t made much progress in figuring out why.
More often than not, we’re adamantly being told what doesn’t cause autism, such as vaccines (and despite what you’ve heard, that’s not nearly as clear-cut a conclusion as you may have been led to believe).
But researchers in Finland have come up with a frightening finding that that may fill in some of the missing pieces: Elevated levels of DDT in a mother’s blood during pregnancy can double the risk of her child developing autism.
Our problem, however, isn’t only with DDT. This was just the very first study that looked at a mother’s exposure to a pesticide — any pesticide — and its effect on the risk of her child developing autism.
Many of the bug-killing and weed-killing chemicals sprayed in our homes and on the food we eat will no doubt to be proven to have similar effects. Considering the shocking history of banned pesticides in the U.S., that’s not a guess. It’s a guarantee.
And your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren’s futures are going to depend on having as little exposure to them as possible, meaning that you need to take action right now.
If you thought DDT was history, you’re right… sort of.
Back in the 1940s, DDT was considered a modern scientific marvel — capable of killing hundreds of varieties of insects and doing so very efficiently.
It was incorporated into wallpaper and used to spray fields, neighborhoods, parks, beaches, and homes — even kids themselves!
But by 1972, the EPA finally agreed that the use of DDT was just too dangerous, and banned it — a move made by countries all over the world.
Now, almost 40 years later, DDE (the chemical DDT breaks down to) can still be found in the environment, our food… and our blood.
And our children are paying the price.
This new research made use of a database of blood samples of pregnant women in Finland that spanned close to two decades, starting in 1987. For mothers with elevated DDE levels in their blood, the odds were a third higher that their children would be diagnosed with autism.
The expectant moms with the highest amounts of DDE, however, had overtwice the risk of their children being diagnosed with autism and a severe disability. The researchers said that the pesticide can cross the placenta and reaches an unborn child in “concentrations greater than those seen in the mother’s blood.”
Many pesticides and herbicides have already been linked to autism and brain damage in kids, including widely used ones like the weed killer glyphosate, a.k.a. Roundup (which you can purchase by the truckload in any big-box store).
Then, there are the pesticides known as organophosphates, which are liberally applied to the fruits and veggies you beg the kids to eat, sprayed in parks, and frequently used by towns and cities to control mosquitoes.
Just a couple of weeks ago I told you about one of them, a chemical called chlorpyrifos, and how it can cause serious and permanent brain damage, especially in kids… and especially while they’re still in the womb.
The truth is that you can’t wait any longer to start protecting yourself and your loved ones against the long-term effects of these poisons — especially if you’re expecting or hope to be.
DDT is still turning up in soil, vegetables, dairy products and food animals to this day — which means that avoiding this persistent poison is next to impossible.
But I have a few tips on how to reduce your exposure. For example, it’s likely to accumulate in fat, so trim the fat off meat before cooking. For fish, cut the skin off before preparing, and cook fatty foods in a manner so the fat drips away from the entrée.
DDT may be gone, but it won’t be long until we learn about the DDTs of tomorrow… some of which could be in your home right now!
1. Stop using Roundup or any other weed killer around your home. The same goes for pesticides. Most pest problems can be handled in non-toxic ways, and if there is a real need for one — such as that hornet’s nest hanging over the garage — use them sparingly and carefully. (And if you’re pregnant, let someone else handle the matter.)
2. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s latest findings for the “Dirty Dozen,” 12 fruits and veggies that contain the highest pesticide residues, by going here: ewg.org/foodnews — and then swap them out for organic versions.
3. Be sure to buy only organic nuts and nut butters (since they contain high amounts of fat, nuts can retain more pesticides than other foods). Conventionally grown peanuts and almonds are particularly likely to have been sprayed with chlorpyrifos.
4. And for any foods containing corn, soy, or canola that aren’t organic, make sure they’re certified as being GMO-free, as genetically modified crops are heavily sprayed with Roundup.
And by taking these four steps, you’ll be doing more for your family’s health and well-being than the entire EPA and CDC!
To Keeping Poisons Out of Your Diet,