Traces of a chemical banned 30 years ago caused brain abnormalities in newborn lab animals which are similar to defects in children with autism, according to a new study by University of California scientists. The new research shows brain development is skewed when animals are exposed to amounts of PCBs in the same range as some highly exposed people. PCBs were one of the world's most widely used chemicals, their use peaking in the 1970s, mostly as insulating fluids in large electrical equipment. Although banned in the west in the 1970's, they are still among the most pervasive contaminants on the planet, and exposure is difficult to avoid because they have spread globally and built up in food chains.
Our comment: Avoidance of these chemicals may be difficult, but supporting the bodies' own detoxification process is likely to improve their elimination from the body. This means plenty of water, and fresh fruit and vegetables, and avoiding other substances that overload the detoxification processes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2007; 104(18); 7646-7651
For the full article, visit: http://www.pnas.org/cgi