As the prevalence of disorders on the autism spectrum, such as Asperger's syndrome, is becoming increasingly higher with industrialization, it is essential to determine whether heavy metals play a role in developing these conditions. The most dangerous heavy metals, which are also very common in baby food, are cadmium, arsenic, lead, and mercury.
It is worthy of note that they act as neurotoxins, which means that they negatively affect the nervous system when they are present at dangerous levels in the bodies of children.
According to a study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, there is accumulating evidence that supports the causal relationship between exposure to neurotoxic compounds and Asperger's syndrome.
Over the past decades, the pervasiveness of Asperger's syndrome has shown rapid growth. Thereby, from 2007 to 2012, the incidence of this disorder rose from 1.16% to 2.00% in the U.S. (source: The Journal of Neurobehavioral Sciences). However, the number of cases of autism spectrum disorders has increased significantly in other countries, which means that it is a worldwide phenomenon. This may have a connection to the food babies are fed, which is known to contain heavy metals. Researchers found that even trace amounts of heavy metals can lead to the occurrence of Asperger's syndrome. In addition to autism spectrum disorder, exposure to heavy metals at such young ages was found to have a link to a lower IQ, behavior problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Measuring the level of heavy metals in the body by examining the shed teeth of babies
A study from the journal Nature Communications led by the environmental scientist Manish Arora, Ph.D. found that researchers could measure the level of heavy metals in their bodies by examining the naturally shed teeth of babies. More specifically, they used lasers to assess the growth of rings on the teeth of the babies. By virtue of laser technology, researchers were able to accurately extract specific layers of dentine, the substance that exists beneath the tooth enamel.
Similar to the way one can tell the age of a tree by looking at the growth rings in the cross-section of the trunk, the scientists were able to observe various developmental stages that corresponded to different rings. This method is a breakthrough in the process of diagnosing Asperger's syndrome, as it is often difficult to remember what baby food parents fed their child during infancy. Consequently, by evaluating the rings on the shed teeth of the child, it can be determined whether they have heavy metals in their organism.
The heavy metal that is most often associated with Asperger's syndrome is lead
Lead is the key heavy metal when it comes to Asperger's syndrome, as the study also discovered that children with the disorder had been exposed to considerably higher than normal levels of lead during their development. This heavy metal can take a heavy toll on the brain and the nervous system of babies, affecting brain development and function. As many as 500,000 children between 1 to 5 in the U.S. have blood concentrations of lead above the reference value set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (source: Live Science).
Numerous renowned medical studies have shown the correlation between exposure to lead from baby food and neurological disorders or abnormalities. Even in trace amounts, lead can impact brain development and function. The presence of dangerous concentrations of lead in the body of children can lead to infrastructural and metabolic perturbations at the molecular and cellular levels of the nervous system. Children are significantly more prone to the adverse neurodevelopmental consequences of lead than adults. This is because of the vulnerability of their nervous system and the postnatal continuation of nervous system maturation.
The Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization deem heavy metals dangerous to human health, particularly for babies and young children. The latter agency lists arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in the top 10 list of chemicals of major health concern. For this reason, if you fed your child the following brands of baby food and they came to suffer from Asperger's syndrome, do not hesitate to reach out to our attorneys. They specialize in toxic exposure and product liability and will be able to help you recover compensation on behalf of your child.
- Beech-Nut Nutrition Company
- Earth's Best Organic
- Plum Organics