New Link to Autism: Antidepressant-Laced Drinking Water by Jill Ettinger
A new study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that America’s
drinking water contaminated with trace amounts of psychiatric medicines
may be linked to the rising rates of autism.
conducted by Michael Thomas, a professor of evolutionary biology at
Idaho State University in Pocatello, found that the antidepressants
Prozac and Effexor and antiseizure drug Tegratol caused fish exposed to
the drugged water to develop gene patterns similar to individuals
suffering from autism. The research in this study corroborates studies
conducted on rats who also developed autism-like symptoms after exposure
to psychiatric drugs.
Study author Thomas says that the researchers were shocked to find
reactions at such low doses. The drugs end up in drinking water that
co-mingles with treated waste water, which is purified to remove any
bacterial risks, but treatments do not yet exist to remove
concentrations of drugs. Pregnant women drink the water and may be poisoning their unborn children.
Many possible culprits have been linked to autism, a disorder that
continues to rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism
spectrum disorders rose 23 percent between 2006 and 2008 among 8-year
olds. Other possible triggers of the disease include pesticide exposure,
poor diets and lack of omega fatty acids, and even exposure to certain
vaccines—although that theory was recently disproved. Autism can range
from mild to severe and can include symptoms such as difficulty
communicating, repetitive behavioral patterns, and developmental and
Overall use of psychiatric medications among adults grew 22 percent
between 2001 and 2010—an industry valued at more than $30 billion is
sales of drugs aimed at treating depression, bipolar disorder,
schizophrenia, and disorders like ADHD.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
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