via Newscientist.com The use of antidepressants has increased dramatically over the past 25 years, says Michael Thomas of Idaho State University in Pocatello. Around 80 per cent of each drug passes straight through the human body without being broken down, and so they are present in waste water. In most communities, water purification systems cannot filter out these pharmaceuticals. “They just fly right through,” says Thomas, which means they ultimately find their way into the water supply.
“While others have envisioned a causal role for psychotropic drugs in idiopathic autism, we were astonished to find evidence that this might occur at very low dosages, such as those found in aquatic systems.” Thomas said.
The study has been published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.
“An environmental cause is really not on the radar for a lot of people,” Thomas told reporters. “My sincere hope is that this opens the door to a new question and allows people to look into that possibility.”
Note: Cases of autism in the U.S. have now increased by over 2700 per cent since 1991, which is when vaccines for children doubled, and the number of immunizations is only increasing. Just one in 2,500 children were diagnosed with autism before 1991, whereas one in 91 children now have the disease, up from one in 150 in 2003.