Are April showers bringing a higher incidence of autism?

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21.11.2008, 16:30:0321.11.08

From: JCMPelican
Sent: 11/21/2008 11:45:38 A.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: Fwd: Autism.....Rain? TV mentioned but not EMF/EMR
Subject:    Autism.....Rain?    TV mentioned but not EMF/EMR
To:   Michael Waldman, Ph.D.   (  )
Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853
To:  Dr. Richard Lathe }

Pieta Research
PO Box 27069
Edinburgh, Midlothian; EH10 5YW GB
Dear Dr. Waldman and Dr. Lathe:
You will note I am sending a copy of this email to Dr. William Campbell Douglass II via "customer care."   Dr. Douglass apparantely does not have a direct email address.   One of his associates responded that information I provided in November, 2007 re probable link to autism and  sleeping close to electric appliances, telephone equipment and any item that has a speaker (magnet)  may be published in a future newsletter.
It is now a year since I wrote to Dr. Douglass via his website.   I do not recall reading anything about the topic of electromagnetic radiation pollution in Dr. Douglass's newsletters regarding probable link to autism-spectrum disorders or in conjunction with any other health issue. 
Dr. Douglass asks the question (below), "are April showers bringing a higher incidence of autism?"   I have included the link to the newspaper article,  "Rainier Spots Show Higher Autism Rates," in my file notes below. 
There are studies confirming low levels of melatonin in patients diagnosed with Alzheimers as well as those identified as "autism-spectrum disorder."    Close, chronic, prolonged exposure to electric fields are linked to low levels of melatonin in humans and animals.  
Studies confirm absorption problems re folic acid and other vitamins when persons are exposed to low level EMF/EMR..   It is reasonable to assume Vitamin D may be similarly affected re utilization and/or absorption when persons suffer various problems due to electrical sensitivity (ES) whether due to spending increased time exposed to electric and/or magnetic fields, RF, or  other wave forms when spending increased amounts of time close to TV sets, radio equipment, computers, or items such as PDA's, i-Pods, i-Phones, cordless phones, cell phones, etc. due to the need to seek shelter from the rain or when trying to sleep at night.    See my website:  re other concerns such as clocks, fans, air purifiers, improper wiring, grounding problems and more. 
Children are known to spend increasing amounts of time indoors playing all sorts of electronic games, many of which hook up to TV sets and particularly,  computers.    Small children are known to actually put their faces against or very close to TV sets while favorite characters are displayed.  
The list of potential electric field exposures includes soft, cuddly, battery-operated toys that have speakers, and therefore, "magnets" that continuously emit very high, constantly changing frequencies even when there is no power to such objects -- i.e., when batteries are removed, the items are still very dangerous!   A toddler or even an older child might spend more time on a rainy day cuddling with a toy that has a speaker (magnet).    Any or all plush objects, mobiles or similar items should not be on an infant's crib or in a child's bed, or held close to the body at any time.    Nightly exposures are even more dangerous due to the many hours spent in one location and drastic reductions in the abililty of pineal gland to produce melatonin.   Monitors should not be in nurseries.    Mobiles, noise machines and other toys with speakers are also major concerns.
See:    Sleep Sheep creating a tranquil environment?
See also:    Personal digital assistant (PDA) cell phone units produce elevated extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field emissions.
For information re my background and reasons for working every day for purpose of educating the public (American Cancer Society, various autism charities and societies, industry and government all refuse to "inform the public," see my appeal to Dr. Marilyn Albert, Alzheimers' Advisory Board at following link:
My letter to Dr. Albert addresses "improvement" in Executive Function with a reversal of long-standing Alzheimers' diagnosis in my husband.   I now call his problem, "Reactive Dementia."     It is my opinion after years of documenting problems vs. improvement in my husband, that melatonin is likely to be the supplement that has prevented the need for nursing home care.
Feel free to call or email with comments and/or questions.   Best wishes, take care and "help spread-the-word!"     Joanne
Joanne C. Mueller
Guinea Pigs "R" Us
731 - 123rd Avenue N.W.
Minneapolis, Minnesota  55448-2127 USA
Phone:   763-755-6114
Email:   (11-21-08)
ARE YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN GUINEA PIGS?    Letter 7-22-04 by Joanne Mueller

DAILY DIGEST   -    11-21-08

Forget flowers: Are April showers bringing a higher incidence of autism? 

Dear Friend,

A new study reveals that autism could be linked to another more unexpected source: rainy, damp climates.

Researchers haven't pinned down the exact link, but it's theorized that there is a higher incidence of autism in parts of the U.S. that get more rain because, A) the foul weather causes children to spend a majority of their time indoors or, B) rain carries chemicals in the atmosphere to the ground. Either way, it's believed that both of these cases may expose children to a higher number of environmental triggers that can spark the onset of autism in children who are genetically predisposed to the disorder.

But the fact is, even Michael Waldman, the leader of the study and an economics professor from Cornell University, isn't positive about the links between rain and autism. "Our findings strongly suggest that there is some factor which is positively correlated with precipitation, which is serving as a trigger for autism," Waldman said.

I know what you're thinking: "the leader of the study is an economics professor?" And I thought the same thing. I'm betting that Waldman has dipped his toe in autism research because his own son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Waldman isn't claiming that rain causes autism, but says the findings of the study are "inconsistent with it being just genetic."

For one, Waldman believes that a vitamin D deficiency could be at fault. I'm a big vitamin D advocate, as you know, and if kids aren't out there getting enough sunlight, it's a problem. But while I've long known that vitamin D helps to battle cancer, asthma, and multiple sclerosis, Waldman's conclusion that children the lack of vitamin D could be triggering autism is news to me.

Waldman's study also concludes that less outdoor activity translates into more TV watching (probably somewhat true – but by no means an indisputable fact). "There are various papers showing associations between early childhood television viewing and various problems concerning cognitive outcomes, sleep problems, behavior problems, etc.," Waldman said.

"Various papers?" "Various problems?" Is this enough to conclude that TV is triggering autism? Personally, I think it's a stretch. I'm more inclined to believe his third possible link between rain and autism: that kids who spend more time indoors could have increased exposure to chemicals around the home which could trigger autism. More inclined, but mind you: not sold.

I'm not alone in my skepticism. Richard Lathe, an autism expert from Pieta Research in Edinburgh, Scotland, said, "One must be vigilant, because statistical correlations do not necessarily imply causality."

Still, Lathe thinks there's something to Waldman's case. Lathe's opinion is that the most likely explanation is that rain wrings chemicals from the atmosphere and puts them on the ground. But this hypothesis also requires careful study… not an economics professor grasping at straws.

What Waldman has done is provide an intriguing link: autism rates are higher in areas with more precipitation. Now it's time for the scientists and doctors to pick up on the economics professor's work and put it to the test.

Always raining knowledge on your head,

William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.     -    November 21, 2008
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Follow-up research notes by jcm:  
 ARTICLE:       Rainier Spots Show Higher Autism Rates
By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
Researchers note that environmental toxins might trigger genetic vulnerability
                             *                             *                          *
Professor Waldman has recently explored whether the exploding growth in autism diagnosis rates over the last few decades can be partially explained by the existence of an environmental trigger for autism that has become more prevalent over time. He is the lead author of "Autism Prevalence and Precipitation Rates in California, Oregon, and Washington Counties" which appears in the November 2008 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.     
                           *                              *                          *
Richard Lathe   -    "Endocrine Abnormalities in Autism"   (2003)     -    Link:  

Richard Lathe is a molecular biologist and a former professor at the University of Strasbourg and Edinburgh University, where he worked for the Centre for Genome Research and the Centre for Neuroscience. He was assistant director at the biotech company Transgene in Strasbourg, a principal scientist at ABRO, Edinburgh, and Co-Director of the Biotechnology College ESBS based in Strasbourg. Lathe is also the founder, in 2002, and director of Pieta Research, a biotechnology consultancy in Edinburgh, United Kingdom, where his interests involve brain research and neuroscience, the limbic system, autism and Alzheimer's disease. He is also the author of over a hundred peer reviewed journal articles.

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