The Daily Kos has the story Study links autism to pesticides, I’d like to know if Monsanto funds the antivaxxers now.
The Daily Kos bases a lot of their story on the report from The Fresno Bee UC Davis study links autism to pesticides.
A new study released today suggests pregnant women who live near agricultural fields where pesticides are sprayed are at increased risk of having a child with autism.
The UC Davis MIND Institute published the article UC Davis MIND Institute study finds association between maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides, autism in offspring.
The Daily Kos article adds some information about organophosphate from the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, whatever that is, from the article What Are Organophosphates? (And Why Are They So Deadly?).
Organophosphates kill because they interfere with the nervous system of both insects and humans. They inhibit an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase. Under normal conditions, acetylcholinesterase sends chemical signals to halt nerve impulses at appropriate times. When the acetylcholinesterase enzyme is disturbed, neurological overstimulation occurs, leading to nervous system dysfunction, causing seizures and death.
Acute exposure can be observed through symptoms of nausea, twitching, headaches and trembling. Most people die because of an inability to breathe. The diaphragm goes into paralysis, convulsions overtake and death ensues.
Long term exposure to these insecticides produces developmental effects including behavioral problems and receding cognitive function, most notably attention deficit.
Not only do organophosphates disrupt the neurons in the body, but they also wreak havoc on the endocrine system. In time, exposure to these chemicals reduces testosterone levels, eliciting femininity in males. Male fertility may be destroyed altogether.
People who have read some of my posts before may start shouting, “Correlation does not mean causation.” Ture, but this is how a scientific study may try to get a handle on that problem.
The risk of autism decreased the farther the pregnant women lived from where pesticides were sprayed, the report said.
If you read the various articles at the links above, there is discussion of the limits to the research and the need for further study. However, I see evidence of enough scientific rigor here to believe that these people are doing a serious scientific study. They seem to be really trying to understand the causes. They don’t seem to be merely pursuing a political agenda. Since I do not know the source of funding for this research, there is always the chance that I will be proven wrong about the impartiality of the research.