A new report finds that one in every 60 boys in New Jersey has autism — nearly twice the national rate. Youth in the study were affected regardless of race, and the trend is spread equally throughout the state.
Efforts to find suspected clusters of autism there have failed, and calls for more research are matched by a growing demand for new funding and services for children with the disorder.
In Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that babies born via Caesarian sections or in breech position do appear to have a slightly higher rate of autism.
But a chemical culprit has been harder to identify, leading to a class-action lawsuit by thousands of parents convinced that their children developed autism after receiving vaccinations containing a mercury-based preservative.
In an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer, researcher Arthur Caplan notes that mercury is no longer used in most vaccines, and that research has failed to correlate the chemical with a spike in autism nationwide over the last 20 years.
“New Jersey has highest rate ever documented in U.S.”
The Record (NJ), February 9, 2007
“Study: Low birth weight, C-section risk factors in autism”
Salt Lake Tribune, February 8, 2007
“A mother’s battle against mercury”
Hernando Today (FL), February 3, 2007
“Fact: No link of vaccine, autism”
Philadelphia Inquirer, February 6, 2007