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December 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Nation puts youths at risk of autism

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Parents and teachers search for solutions to autism. Childhood developmental problems associated with autism typically affect how children think, speak, listen and move.

Although experts have concluded that excess childhood exposure to lead causes severe learning problems and significantly reduced intelligence levels, they will not go as far as to confirm an absolute link of lead poisoning and childhood autism.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum level of 40 parts per million of lead be allowed in children’s products.

However, 17 percent of children’s products were found to have had much higher lead levels. Furthermore, 35 percent of Chinese-imported toys had levels of lead above 600 parts per million.

When it comes to children’s toys and jewelry, U.S. authorities admit that just 23 percent of our youngsters’ toys manufactured in China are inspected.

No human being can be expected to develop normally or act rationally if they ingest high levels of toxins at their most vulnerable stages of life.

The United States should begin holding our business and political sectors legally and financially responsible for failing to protect the safety and best interests of our most precious possession — our children.

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  1. As a parent, citizen, and teacher, I have been appalled by the vast numbers that corrolate to those affected by autism and other health associated issues, by the exponential number of dollar stores and blanket marketing of products from China. Products that are plastic based are the MOST suspect, going to items coated with plastic and/or paints, and metals. UGH. Just check the labels: from toys, jewelry, electronics, car parts, even housing building items. Even canned food products are coming from China. When you have lived long enough on this planet, you do notice the change. I grew up during the days of lead pipes, lead paint, asbestos tiles, and never saw the devastation and levels of autism, as I do in the last 20 years. And this all started with dollar stores and big chain stores using mostly products from China!

    This is about health and safety, for NOW and FUTURE generations. Pressure needs to be continued to enforce laws and fund enforcement. This problem affects us all, whether directly, or indirectly. Thanks Bradley, for bringing this issue up. Our nation has a lot of problems, but this one is hitting the homes of millions of People of the USA. It is next to impossible to avoid these contaminated products anymore as they are EVERYWHERE in our lives.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  2. BChap:

    I'm not sure the incidence of autism is rising and/or we are doing a better job identifying infants and youngsters who have autism. In any event, children with autism are God's gift to us and they are owed all the same love and tenderness as are all God's children.

    CarmineD

  3. BChap:

    I don't pretend to know what causes autism, but let me offer some ideas and observations.

    I grew up in an era where lead-based paint was everywhere, lead pipes were in use and every gallon of gasoline we burned contained up to 3mg of tetraethyl lead. The latter left measurable lead concentrations along roadsides. Yet autism was not nearly as prevalent as today. That said, you can't rule out some genetic alteration that didn't manifest until subsequent generations.

    For lead to have an effect on humans it must be ingested. Most cars have a lead-acid battery and except for some aberrant freeway behavior, doesn't seem to affect drivers or auto mechanics.

    Most evidence I've seen indicates a genetic cause or very early onset in infants. This tends to make me doubtful that lead in Chinese toys is a factor due to limited exposure of infants to toys and whether the lead present is in an ingestible form. Blood tests can answer that question.

    As another thought, if you believe in evolution, you have to wonder why natural selection seems to be selecting autism.

    If autism has a genetic cause, it could source from anything . Radio, television, and cell phone
    transmissions expose us to wavelengths of energy not previously experienced just as one idea.

    As I said at the start, I don't know, but I have a nephew with autism and I would certainly like to know more.

  4. Totally agree with Bradley, CarmineD, and Jim. Let us hope and pray that research and good thinking prevail to uncover the causes of autism and bring forward the very needed ways to fix this ever growing problem. Certainly, our hearts go out to those with autism and their families.

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star

  5. Are there any other reasons to stop doing business with China? With the increase in Autism in our children from Chinese made products, that should be reason enough. Wake up America cheap chinese made toys etc.are not worth the risk for our future generations of children.

  6. "As another thought, if you believe in evolution, you have to wonder why natural selection seems to be selecting autism." - PIESCES4

    This will sound cruel, but if in fact there is a genetic shift that is at the root of this then the reason the incidence of autism (if it is being correctly diagnosed) is increasing is because modern medicine has its thumb on the evolutionary scales. That is, many more people are surviving childhood to reproduce that was the case even 100 years ago.

    It should come as no surprise that as we improve our ability to save lives that we will see problems that might always have existed show up in larger numbers since they were masked by an earlier death and/or a shorter life expectancy before.

    As for CarmineD's comment: it is precisely that belief that was the downfall of more than a few candidates who said the same of pregnancy resulting from rape.

    I can not disagree more strongly with the notion that birth defects or other problems are a "gift from God..." It is absolutely impossible for me to reconcile the concept of a just and loving God with one who would allow a child to be born deaf, and then as if that is not enough, to allow that same child to suffer a devastating stroke at age 11! That most definitely is NOT a "gift" as CarmineD puts it.

    Yes, this is personal for me. And I know there are some religious people who would say these so-called "gifts" are a punishment on the parent for turning away or not having faith. BULL!!!!

    Back to the main point, it may or may not be lead that is the culprit, just like it may or may not be the battery of immunizations that some with to point to. But I think it is reasonable to take a good look at imports from places that do not have the same attitude towards protection of the population that we have.

    There have already been several notable examples of lax quality control on some imports. There is probably many others waiting to be found.

  7. I can't help but wonder if some of what is being diagnosed as autism today was (rightly?) attributed to in-breeding in bygone days.

  8. I'm inclined to agree with the thread of boftx's posts, that there are genetic anomolies that, in earlier generations, simply would not manifested themselves. Why do we see more and more cancers? Because people aren't dying young from infection, plague, smallpox, diptheria, etc, so cancers, especially those which develop with cellular breakdown, have time to take hold and develop. I have lupus. How in the hell did I get that? Lupus hits primarily women, young women. If it hits men they are predominantly black men, young black men. I'm an old white guy so why? The doc says look, its probably genetic but we really don't know. You were exposed to lots of petrochemicals as a kid and a young man plus agent orange plus you survived cholera and two bouts of malaria. You probably outta be dead by now so a little lupus won't kill you.

  9. "I can not disagree more strongly with the notion that birth defects or other problems are a "gift from God..." It is absolutely impossible for me to reconcile the concept of a just and loving God with one who would allow a child to be born deaf, and then as if that is not enough, to allow that same child to suffer a devastating stroke at age 11! That most definitely is NOT a "gift" as CarmineD puts it." boftx

    God doesn't make mistakes.

    CarmineD

  10. boftx:

    You may have already, but if not, and perhaps even again: Read the Book of Job.

    CarmineD