Posted by: Ticktock | August 1, 2009

This Week In Parenting Science 8/1/09

It’s been a busy week for science news in the parenting world.  Some weeks we have spurts, and then other weeks the well runs dry.

Cancer and Pesticides – The August issue of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring has some pretty upsetting news. There’s a type of pediatric cancer that’s on the increase, and the cause could be an exposure to residential pesticides.  It was found in a recent study that children were twice as likely to get lymphoblastic leukemia if they had been exposed to the organophosphates in pesticide. Quite disconcerting considering that my next door neighbor uses that crap every spring.

Autism and Breastmilk – Will Jenny McCarthy go on Larry King and demand that we remove the toxins from human breast milk? She might just have to do that if she wishes to remain honest because there are some preliminary studies being done on rats that are showing a connection between autism and PCB molecules in breast milk. You might remember that PCBs are one of the most annoying toxins in the environment because they never go away (eliminated in the 70s). This study focuses on the neural effects of rats breastfed with milk contaminated with non-coplanar PCBs. The exposed rats developed problems interpreting auditory signals, which is a symptom of autism in humans. The difference between the exposed rats and the non-exposed rats were quite striking. Needless to say, this is problematic for the medical community because breast milk has been repeatedly shown to be a better option for a variety of other reasons. It might end up being a “catch-22” with a similar ethical dilemma to that of the debunked link between autism and vaccines.

Swine Flu & Pregnancy – Let’s not forget that we still have a swine-flu problem, and that it will likely get worse when the cold weather encroaches. Not only will it get worse, there’s a chance that it could get nasty. I’ve started preparing for the worst by stocking up on grains and water. Yeah yeah, it’s over-hasty and alarmist, but a little survival preparation never killed anyone.

Back to the news… pregnant women are more likely to die if they contract swine flu. They have so far accounted for a disproportionate 6% of the total deaths. This fall and winter, pregnant women should be extra careful to wash hands and avoid contact with flu victims, especially in their 3rd trimester.

Autism and GI Problems – Guess what? Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the fraudulent scientist who introduced the idea of a link between autism and MMR vaccine, was wrong when he theorized that the (non-existent) link stemmed from problems in the gut. A recent study has confirmed what everyone in the science community already knew; there is no link between gastro-intestinal disorders and autism. That means that, as I’ve stated before, gluten and casein free diets are an unnecessary inconvenience. What the study did show was a link between autism and constipation, but there can be many reasons for this, not the least of which would be that children with autism can be picky eaters who are put on strict diets.



  1. […] read about this a while ago and didn’t post a link.  But Science Based Parenting linked to this article today about PCBs in breast milk, so I guess it’s on my brain […]

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