Connecting the Dots: Autism Awareness

Huffington Post

April 5, 2011
by Alison Rose Levy – Health Journalist

Dr. Ricki D. Robinson, M.D. honored World Autism Awareness Day with a thoughtful blog that superbly navigates between this steadily rising health concern and a medical model that has been challenged to find either an explanation or a treatment approach.

Our health scientific research model studies one substance at a time, yet people are exposed to and retain many chemicals and other kinds of toxins. An assessment of umbilical cord blood showed that even newborns have accumulated over 150 chemical toxins in utero.

Over our lifetimes, we receive multiple exposures of all types, from toxins and synthetic chemical ingredients in foods, agriculture, medicines, and personal care products, to industrial contaminants in air, water, earth and food.

The President’s Cancer Panel Report (PCPR) of 2010 indicated that this buildup is a prime contributor to cancer. Both the National Academy of Sciences, and the PCPR identify research into the cumulative impacts of toxic exposures as a missing link in addressing serious health issues, like autism and cancer.

A report on medical research found that, “The pharmaceutical industry, now the largest sponsor, focuses on developing and testing new products.” But this pharmaceutically based treatment and research model rarely studies how all of the tiny exposures add up. Instead this scientific method persists in looking at one ingredient at a time. Though necessary, this research process is agonizingly slow for the children born every day, who are at risk for autism.

In a study, chemicals can be isolated, but in the human body they interact. Therefore this research method inevitably produces partial findings because it can’t assess synergies, healthy or not. Moreover, since people respond differently even to a single substance, it’s no surprise that complex treatments with multiple ingredients can harm some. Yet our vaccination guidelines fail to allow modifications for these individual differences.

Even when a specific ingredient is known as problematic, that knowledge may not translate into current medical practice. For example, Merck, the producer of the MMR vaccine notes in its literature that those sensitive to eggs may experience a negative reaction to the MMR vaccine. But neither doctors nor parents always know whether or not newborns, or babies have egg allergies, prior to vaccinating them.

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