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Autism spectrum disorders continue to rise

Posted by Kathy Attar on April 2, 2014

New data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that the estimated number of children identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to grow.

In CDC’s new report, about one in 68 children were identified with ASD. This estimate is based on findings on 8-year-old children living in 11 communities, participants in CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

This new estimate is about 30% higher than the estimate for 2008, roughly 60% higher than the estimate for 2006, and approximately 120% higher than the estimates for 2002 and 2000. The cause of this skyrocketing increase is unknown; some of it may be due to the way children are identified and diagnosed, but exactly how much is unknown.

What we do know is that the longer we wait to pass meaningful chemicals policy reform, the longer chronic diseases will continue to rise. The need is urgent for policy that reduces preventable causes of disease.  Research recently released by Drs. Landrigan and Grandjean reveals that the number of chemicals known to be toxic to children's developing brains has doubled over the past seven years. 

Sixty-seventy percent of abnormal brain development cases (which can lead to conditions such as autism or ADHD) are attributed to the child’s environment.

PSR is asking Congress to put forth reform measures that protect our most vulnerable from toxic chemical exposures. Unfortunately, the current reform proposals in the Senate and House would do very little if anything to address our rising disease rates.

Check out our latest action to make health-protective, common-sense chemicals policy a reality.

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