Mercury Pollution and Autism Linked

Last week, I posted a blog about a study that confirmed my concerns about the rising number of children suffering from autism in America. A University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center study focuses on another source of the problem: Mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.

In fact, the UT study found a direct correlation between an increase in cases of autism in Texas and rising mercury emissions. For every 1,000 pounds of mercury released into the environment, autism rates rose a whopping 17 percent! No wonder, considering at least 48 tons of mercury are generated by coal-burning plants annually in the United States.

The study compared county-by-county levels of mercury emissions recorded in Texas to the rates of autism and special education services in 1,200 state school districts to find the connection.

Another major contributor to the mercury pollution in our air that's hurting our kids: Chlorine factories that could be releasing mercury in the environment at a faster rate than power companies.

Health and Place February 17, 2005

Yahoo News March 16, 2005

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