Other Risk Factors for Autism

Those that are new to the autism causation discussion have heard of the potential of vaccines and genes causing autism but here are a couple lesser known contributing factors.

Medication Overload

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Children are increasingly exposed to medications in the womb and in their early years. Using some of these medications has been linked with a diagnosis of autism.

  • Antibiotics
    According to the Journal of Medical Microbiology, research has linked antibiotics to autism due to the negative effect antibiotics have on gut flora. Autistic children often suffer from stomach issues, supporting this possible link.
  • Tylenol (Acetaminophen)
    According to the Journal of Restorative Medicine, “The marked increases in incidences of autism, asthma, and attention deficit disorder in the United States coincide with the replacement of aspirin by acetaminophen in the 1980s.” Tylenol depletes a necessary antioxidant called glutathione, which may contribute to brain damage in “vulnerable children”.
  • Antidepressants
    The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that women who take a certain class of antidepressants known as SSRIs (Prozac, Zoloft) have an increased risk of having a child with autism. Research suggests that this exposure to these types of medications, especially during the first trimester, modestly increases risk.

Pregnancy Spacing

A 2014 article published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found a correlation between autism and spacing between pregnancies. They found the following statistics:

  • Children conceived less than 12 months after their sibling were 50% more likely to be diagnosed with autism.
  • Those conceived more than 60 months apart were 40% more likely to be diagnosed with autism.
  • Those conceived more than 120 months were over 30% more likely to be diagnosed with autism.

Environmental Toxins

“The environment plays a role in 85% of all diseases. New science is showing that the effects of exposure to chemicals at low doses, and in combination, can have an impact on human growth and development.”

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

  • Living near Freeways A 2010 study published in Children’s Health studied the relationship between traffic-related air pollution and autism. The basis for the study was that, “Little is known about environmental causes and contributing factors for autism. Basic science and epidemiologic research suggest oxidative stress and inflammation may play a role in disease development.” The study found, “Living near a freeway was associated with autism.” This was believed to be due to the pregnant mothers’ exposures to the air pollution.
  • Proximity to Toxic Land Fills A 2008 study published in Environmental Health Insights revealed “considerable overlap between identified toxic landfills [like superfund sites] and diagnosed cases of autism/ASD.” The study points out that while the evidence does not prove causation, “the strength of the correlation and the fact that autism cases related to the number of Superfund sites is consistent with the hypotheses that the etiology of autism/ASD, in part, is dependent upon early and repeated exposure to mixtures of environmental toxins.”
  • Living Close to Areas Sprayed by Chemical Pesticides Authors of a 2014 study published in Environmental Health Perspective wanted to determine if “residential proximity to agricultural pesticides during pregnancy is associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or developmental delay (DD) in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment (CHARGE) study.” They concluded, “This study of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] strengthens the evidence linking neurodevelopmental disorders with gestational pesticide exposures.”

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Janet banks

How many fetuses of pregnant women were exposed to toxic mold growing in the walls and/or that became airborne through the ventilation system. Certain neighborhoods in Katy, Texas have homes that were built in the early 90’s and without appropriate ventilation. Within one particular neighborhood, Sundown Glenn, particle board was used in the construction for the outdoor siding. The ventilation ducts and insulation behind the walls of the homes that were inspected in this neighborhood, Tested positive for the growth of 16 Varieties of toxic molds. aspergillus was also found in the water by more than one reputable mold testing company. Entire families experienced a variety of symptoms. Medical tests revealed many of the children living in these conditions, having an abnormality in the brain. Many of the children that were treated by a toxicologist, recovered through prescribed IVIG treatments.

Tammy Sipes

My 3 year old daughter has been diagnosed with Autism and Sensory Disorder, and I have been exhausting myself trying to learn anything and everything that I can about this. I came across your comment about mold and Autism, and it really got me to thinking about the correlation of the two. My husband and I lived in a rental property the entire duration of my pregnancy which at the time was unbeknownst to us, had different types of mold everywhere inside and probably outside, as well. This house has since been demolished. I can’t help but seriously wonder if living in that house is the reason for our daughter’s diagnosis. Now that it’s been torn down, I’m not sure how we could even prove that the house was full of mold being that it’s no longer standing, other than eyewitness accounts. Thank you for your comment as it has brought to my attention another possible explanation.


What about MTHFR gene mutations? I wouldn’t say they cause autism, however, people with one or more of these mutations have a harder time detoxing pollutants like the neurotoxin mercury containing thimerosal, aluminum, pesticides, etc. People with autism are found to have an abundance of mercury and/or other neurotoxins in their brains. They’re also found to have deleted levels of glutathione, which mercury in the brain impedes the production of this essential antioxidant. Since autism is connected to a toxic overload of the brain & body, anything (including MTHFR) that impairs the body’s ability to detox, could make a person more susceptible to autism/ASD & other neurological disorders.


I would like to know if anyone has a comment about mosquitoe spraying in correlation to ASD.


I am the 4th and last child of my parents. I am a female 11 months younger than my sister. We are both the same age for approximately 30 days, until her birthday month comes. I do not have autism of any form. However, I have a nephew that was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. His birth is spaced out from his older siblings from the oldest to the youngest respectively, 17 yrs., 9 yrs,, and 6 years.

Christina Ventrella

I just wonder how the late age of mothers now days refers to autism ( having children after 35)
Other thing like professional exposure to chemicals ( let say working in beauty salons) effect pregnancy???


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