I really hated that old commercial, which was being widely played in the early to mid 80’s, so this post is a follow-up to that irritating, then-ubiquitous ad. SNL did a great spoof of this; its probably on youtube now. Well the chickens have come home to roost. But where are the folks at that PR firm that thought up that original ad, taking care of their autistic grandchildren? Probably not–they are hiring that out to their live-in nannies, which they can surely afford:
Research links soaring incidence of the mysterious neurological disorder to fetal and infant exposure to pesticides, viruses, household chemicals
By Marla Cone
California’s sevenfold increase in autism cannot be explained by changes in doctors’ diagnoses and most likely is due to environmental exposures, University of California scientists reported Thursday. The scientists who authored the new study advocate a nationwide shift in autism research to focus on potential factors in the environment that babies and fetuses are exposed to, including pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products.
“It’s time to start looking for the environmental culprits responsible for the remarkable increase in the rate of autism in California,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, an epidemiology professor at University of California, Davis who led the study.
Further thoughts on developments such as this, obviously the first of many:
Our health security has been challenged by the environmental degradation and pollution that the economy has been thoughtlessly spewing out since the begininng of the industrial revolution. We really don’t know what the effects of this will be, whether it will cause some particular suffering through an odd set of chances or if it will become a more generalized problem like this or this, but I suspect the reality will lie somewhere between the two extremes: creating a negative life experience for millions, without causing generalized systemic failure. It is even possible that things have started to unwind, and that this or this are just harbingers. This negative experience, as its dimensions grow, will create political instability. It is exactly on the fault lines that will be created by good public health reporting that this instability will first become apparent. Some realize the new importance of public health reporting, and that’s why there are developments such as this or this.