Chemicals found in common household goods may raise the risk of autism and other developmental issues, a study warns.

Researchers found children with special needs or movement dysfunction had much higher levels of two types of substances in their urine than their peers.

Additional experiments on mice showed these chemicals damage the brain structures that protect nerves and help the brain communicate and function – and nerve damage has been linked to autism and MS.

The chemicals are known as OFRs and QACs. The former is used to make materials non flammable and are found in furniture, nail polish, carpets electronics and dryer sheets.

The latter are a type of chemical used to kill germs and are found in a number of cleaning products and shampoos, sunscreens and body washes. 

The chemicals, organophosphate flame retardants and quaternary ammonium compounds, are found in nail polish, baby wipes, hand soaps and cleaning solutions (stock image)

The chemicals, organophosphate flame retardants and quaternary ammonium compounds, are found in nail polish, baby wipes, hand soaps and cleaning solutions (stock image)

The chemicals, organophosphate flame retardants and quaternary ammonium compounds, are found in nail polish, baby wipes, hand soaps and cleaning solutions (stock image)

The researchers worry that more children are being exposed to these chemicals because hand gels and other disinfectants have become more common after Covid. 

Dr Paul Tesar, the lead researcher and medical expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio, said:  ‘Our findings suggest that more comprehensive scrutiny of the impacts of these common household chemicals on brain health is necessary.

‘We hope our work will contribute to informed decisions regarding regulatory measures or behavioral interventions to minimize chemical exposure and protect human health.’

Dr Tesar and his team analyzed more than 1,800 chemicals found in common household items known to damage oligodendrocytes, the structures that protect nerves in the brain.

When brain tissue from mice were exposed to the chemicals, their oligodendrocytes either stopped developing or died.

The team also used national data on US children and found those with special needs had higher levels of these compounds in their bodies than their peers.

They analyzed CDC data from 2013 to 2018 on kids aged three to 11 years old and found a type of OFR was present in 99 percent – 1,753 – of urine samples. 

Levels were significantly higher in children than in adults, and those who needed special education services had the highest levels.

The researchers said: ‘Neurological problems impact millions of people, but only a fraction of cases can be attributed to genetics alone, indicating that unknown environmental factors are important contributors to neurological disease.’

Lead author Erin Cohn added: ‘We found that oligodendrocytes — but not other brain cells—are surprisingly vulnerable to quaternary ammonium compounds and organophosphate flame retardants.

‘Understanding human exposure to these chemicals may help explain a missing link in how some neurological diseases arise.’ 

Autism affects one in 36 children, meaning that more than 90,000 children are born annually with the developmental disorder in the US.

It is characterized by problems with social communication and interaction, difficulty expressing oneself and repetitive behaviors and interests.

Scientists are still not completely sure what the cause of autism is, though they believe it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The severity of the disorder also varies greatly across the spectrum, meaning there is likely no silver bullet treatment option.

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects nearly 1million Americans. 

It can cause loss of balance, muscle spasms, vision and memory loss and impaired motor function. 

Some therapies may help control symptoms, but there is no cure. 

Based on their findings, the scientists stress more investigation into how these chemicals affect brain structures is needed, including tracking chemical levels in people’s brains to determine the amount and length of exposure to OFRs and QACs are needed to cause or exacerbate disease. 

The results were published in the journal Nature Neurology.

Source: Mail Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Jennifer Lopez’s Trainers Break Down How She’s In ‘Better Shape’ Than Ever

Jennifer Lopez’s Trainers Break Down Her Fitness Regimen | Us Weekly Sign…

‘Victorian’ illness gout is surging across the UK: Liverpool reports 960 per cent spike in ‘disease of Kings’… and experts now suggest that ultra-processed foods are the cause

Liverpool has been dubbed ‘Britain’s gout capital’ after cases of the ‘Victorian’…

Fluoride in the water linked to anxiety, temper problems and headaches in children as young as three, with experts claiming exposure high levels in pregnancy could be a ‘risk to the developing brain’

Pregnant women exposed to high fluoride levels doubles the odds of having a…

Running At Night Feels Unsafe for Many Women. Will New Strava Safety Features Help?

When I lived in New York City, I regularly ran at night.…