Toxic metals higher in children with autism

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Toxic Metal Dangers(NaturalHealth365) Toxic metals pose a serious threat to human health – especially children. A study published in the February 25, 2013 journal of Biological Trace Element Research, reports that children with autism have higher levels of several toxic metals including, lead, thallium, tin, and tungsten – than neurotypical children.

These metals can interfere with the normal functioning of body organs and systems – including brain development and function.

The results were as follows:

• 41% higher levels of lead in their red blood cells

• 74% higher urinary levels of lead

• 77% higher levels of thallium

• 115% higher levels of tin

• 44% higher levels of tungsten

Further, researcher confirmed that the severity of autism is strongly associated with the level of several toxic metals. The most strongly associated were cadmium and mercury. The authors of the study stated, “We hypothesize that reducing early exposure to toxic metals may help ameliorate symptoms of autism, and treatment to remove toxic metals may reduce symptoms of autism; these hypotheses need further exploration, as there is a growing body of research to support it.”

In January of 2013, Maedica published the results of a study in which ten toxic metals and essential elements in hair samples of children with autism and neurotypical children were examined – to see if there was a link to the toxic levels in the hair and the severity of autism. In the autism group; elevated hair concentrations were noted for aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, antimony, nickel, lead and vanadium.

The researchers noted a significant positive correlation between lead and ‘verbal communications’ as well as ‘general impressions’ categories on the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). The more toxic lead found in the hair analysis, the more severe the impairment in these categories. In addition, low zinc levels were associated with fear and nervousness on CARS scores. Researchers noted that toxic metals affect trace element absorption, and the interaction between essential elements and toxic metals affects threshold values and toxicity effects.

For instance, excess lead in the body displaces zinc as well as calcium. Lead replaces zinc on enzymes and cadmium replaces zinc on metallothionein. Zinc is also affected by copper. Both are trace elements and are antagonists in the body – meaning a low level of zinc will cause elevated levels of copper and vice versa.

Significantly elevated hair copper levels in the hair of children with autism are associated with depression, irritability, fear, nervousness, and learning and behavior disorders. When lead and copper overwhelm the body, researchers suspect that this burden may be too much for the developing child.

Cadmium and lead are often used in dinnerware, so be sure to test your plates using a Lead Check and Cadmium Check. They can be found easily in your local Home Depot’s paint department for less than eight dollars a kit – each kit provides 4 tests. Plain white plates rarely contain lead and are your best bet. If your plates have color or a decal of any kind, please test them to see if they contain these toxic metals.

In early January, I shared the top ten chemicals that the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) associated with autism . Lead topped the list and researchers continue to validate this link as well as the link between autism, learning behaviors and toxic metals. The CEHC list did not include mercury and cadmium that parents have been observing for years while both were noted in these more current studies.

Since lead is definitely linked with autism, next week our blog will focus on lead detoxification. We are all exposed to lead at some level; through toys, plates, artificial colors and more.

About the author: Sima Ash of Healing 4 Soul is a clinical and classical homeopath and certified clinical nutritionist who utilizes a unique approach pioneered by Tinus Smits, M.D. called CEASE therapy. The aim of CEASE treatment is systematic detoxification of the causes of illness, leading to step by step improvement and restoration of health in the individual. For additional information, please visit – You can follow Sima on Facebook at ‘Cease Therapy California’ and through her weekly blog on

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  • Andreas Klein

    Love your work but Why don’t you provide a link to the studies you talk about & reference the articles correctly so that interested folk can read the study frist hand if the want to (whether free from the publisher or purchase required)

  • Dawn W.

    Andreas – I blog for another site and I don’t know why but sometimes they include my references and sometimes they don’t. I wonder if the same is going on here. Hopefully they will see these comments and include them. I was also curious on the studies and did a quick search and found the links:

  • Sima

    Dear Andreas,

    Please email me!