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Rise in Autism, Rise in Toxins- no coincidence

Photo by Thomas Shea/Getty Images

It seems that almost every day there is a new man-made disaster that poses a threat to the preservation of nature and wild life. Today, The Audobon Society announced a toxic oil spill off of Chester’s Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary is located here, a stop-over spot and winter home for about 70,000 migratory shorebirds of various species. As this spill hit during the spring migration period when large quantities of birds are temporarily living there, it could have dire effects on a large portion of the bird population. It is estimated that as many as 168,000 gallons of oil spilled into the water, and Audobon is currently trying to mobilize workers to go save as many of these birds as possible. While disasters such as this one can be seen by the naked eye, many other man-made chemicals are destroying our planet in a more subtle and invisible way.

For instance, it has been found that in the United States, 75% of our water and air is polluted by Round-Up, a dangerous pesticide that has been proven to kill off large numbers of the bee population. If you take a trip down memory lane to the basic teachings of grade school, as well as the euphemistic ‘Birds and the Bees’ sex talks, you will remember that bees are crucial for pollinating plants and continuing life on earth as we know it. Yet in America, pesticides, insecticides and factory farming are big business, and no one seems to have the guts or the common sense to stop companies like Home Depot and Lowes from selling these chemicals, or the plants that have been sprayed with them. If we are not poisoning plants with chemicals, we are creating genetically modified plants that mock nature’s perfect plan. Scientists have created new forms of plants that are supposed to be bigger, cheaper and easier to grow than their historical counterparts. Yet in creating these new plant forms, they have destroyed the original ones that our bodies could digest.

Have you ever wondered why recently there have been so many people who are allergic to gluten? Wheat and bread have been around since before biblical times, and gluten was previously a main component of our diet. The answer is that the wheat and gluten we eat today is genetically modified, and is a far cry from the natural and organic bread ingredients of our ancestors. The same can be said for lactose intolerance. While it is true that some cultures have not always ingested dairy products, or have drank goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk, it seems that nowadays everyone has a problem with dairy. Perhaps this is because in modern factory farming, cows are housed in cramped polluted spaces and are shot full of hormones and antibiotics to make them create more milk. If you’ve ever seen an egg factory, with the chickens so cramped that their claws actually grow around the bottom of their cages, you would probably only eat free-range eggs from now on.
For more information about climate change and drinking water in Minnesota, see the following link-
In this author’s opinion, it is no coincidence that The Audobon’s announcement today coincided with an announcement from the Center For Disease Control, (CDC.) Today the CDC has announced a new spike in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. It is now estimated that one in 68 children in America have some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
To see announcement, go to the following link-

This study was conducted on 8 year old children for best assessment of symptoms. This means that for children younger than 8, the numbers could be much higher. For more information about this announcement, see the following link-
One out of 68 translates to 14.7 per 1,000 8 year olds. In The United Kingdom, the most recent numbers cite 4 cases per 1,000 8 year olds. For more information on Autism statistics across the globe, see the following links-
Scientists and laymen alike have been speculating about the cause of high rates of Autism in America for years. At first it was thought to be the result of mercury content and other toxic chemicals given to children in vaccinations. Others had surmised that Autism (along with some forms of dementia and Alzheimer’s,) was caused by ingesting food that had been cooked or stored in aluminum. While no conclusion has been reached about the cause of this disease, it is clear that it is hitting America the hardest, suggesting that it is the result of some of the habits practiced by people in the richest country in the world. So although we don’t know exactly what we are doing to make our children sick, we should at least address the things we do that we know are harmful to all living things.

Here are some things that you can do:

Buy foods that are organic, or at the very least, not genetically modified. Buy free-range eggs, milk without Bovine Growth Hormones, and produce from local gardeners. By purchasing smarter choices in food, you are not only keeping yourself and your family healthy, but you are also sending a message to grocery stores that they can make a better profit by selling healthier food.
Check the ingredients on anything that you put in or on your body. Don’t forget, your skin is your largest organ, and it is taking in all of the toxic components that surround you. So if you buy a lotion or shampoo that has ingredients that sound like they come out of a mad scientist’s lab rather than a kitchen, avoid those products. CNN announced last year that our oceans have been “plasticized,” after multiple companies sold body washes where the ‘exfoliating micro-beads’ were made of plastic. Companies had previously used natural ingredients such as apricot seeds for exfoliators, but big cosmetic companies decided that was too expensive, so they made the switch, and unbeknownst to us, we have been slathering our bodies with plastic, then washing it down the drain into our water supply. For more information, see the following link-

Responsibly recycle. Most of us know how we should recycle our paper, plastic, aluminum and glass, but think about the other items that you put in the trash. In the Twin Cities metro area, your trash is going to the incinerator downtown. If you have ever smelled burning plastic or rubber or chemicals, you’ve probably experienced the wicked headache that ensued. By putting items like this in the trash, you’re polluting our air supply with these deadly chemicals.

Think before you drink. We’re all encouraged to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, but tap water for most of us is unsafe. One option for cleaning your water supply is to purchase a reverse osmosis water filter that hooks onto your sink. This contraption can be purchased at hardware stores and is significantly more powerful than portable charcoal water filters. Years ago, people were encouraged to dispose of their old prescription drugs by flushing them down the toilet. Some people still do this, and every drug that is flushed is going directly into our water supply.

Be accountable for your own actions and do what you can to hold others accountable. We all make mistakes, but some companies are so corrupt that their search for the almighty dollar is more of a priority than doing what they know is right. Research a company before you give them your money. Some of the Fortune 500 companies out there are the worst offenders. For example, 3 M has permanently polluted the groundwater supply from the Mississippi.This is something that they have been doing since the 1950’s. However they make so much money that whenever they are called on this atrocious act, they simply chuckle, pay the fines and continue with their unethical practices. For more information on this, see the following link-

It's increasingly clear that there is no conscience in big business, and if we care at all about the world we live in, we need to start making smarter decisions about how and where we spend our money.

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