From the time of conception, babies are de-methylated and as they grow and develop, they go through a process called methylation. Both methylation and detoxification form an important balance that supports growth and development. They work hand-in-hand so that as one slows down, so does that other. Children with autism have shown to have impairments in these cycles, which may begin to explain why children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) are quite susceptible to environmental toxicity.
A 2009 study completed by researchers at the University of Texas, found startling evidence that the environment plays a large role in autism. The study was designed to determine if living close to sources of mercury pollution in 1998 were related to autism prevalence in 2002. They found that for every 1000 pounds of industrial release, there were a 2.6% increase in autism rates and a 3.7% increase associated with power plant emissions. Overall, for every 10 miles away you got from industrial or power plant sources, there was a decrease in autism rates.
The same researchers revealed an association between environmentally-released mercury and autism rates also in Texas. For each 1,000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 61% increase in ASD.
Toxins play a large role in the health of our bodies. Lead levels have been linked to ASD, ADHD and learning disabilities. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study that found an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in U.S. hospitals in 2004. Further tests revealed a total of 287 chemicals in this group of children. The umbilical cord blood identified pesticides, consumer product ingredients, and wastes from burning coal, gasoline, and garbage. It is clear that environmental toxicity is impacting all children and adults.