From vaccines to vitamin deficiencies, there are a variety of ideas proposed as the cause of autism. Now, a pediatrician has shared his thoughts on What is Autism Spectrum Disorder and what may be causing it. Dr. Harvey Karp is the author of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and believes that endocrine disrupting chemicals can be behind the rise in autism.
Dr. Harvey Karp recently presented his ideas at the Healthy Child Healthy World luncheon. He mentioned that better diagnostic tools play a role in the rising number of autism spectrum cases. However, he believes that the tools are not the only reason why more children are being diagnosed. Dr. Karp mentions that a greater reason and “exposure to a certain class of chemicals” is responsible.
The pediatrician points to the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals and their ability to affect the human body in multiple ways. Because these hormones are able to interfere with normal functions, they can mimic the body’s hormones and can create problems ranging from developmental delays to behavioral issues. Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most commonly known endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Although BPA is banned in baby products, there are other endocrine disrupting chemicals still being used. Bisphenol S (BPS), Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Phthalates and many other chemicals are still being added to a variety of products ranging from toys to tables.
Dr. Harvey Karp believes that everyone has been exposed to BPA and other chemicals because they are common ingredients in plastic products. He is concerned that these chemicals can enter the bloodstream of a fetus during pregnancy. He is also worried about a child’s exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals after birth. Dr. Karp is hoping that more research will focus on the role of chemicals in autism spectrum disorder. He is careful to acknowledge that researchers are studying the topic, but the information is not complete.