LONDON We have had scares about cellular phones and cancer and more recently suggestions that Wi-Fi causes all kinds of nausea and illnesses. Now a couple of scientists are warning that wireless networks may be responsible for accelerating the rise of autism in children.
The fears are outlined in a scientific study published this week in the "peer-reviewed" Australasian Journal of Clinical Environmental Medicine.
The paper was co-authored by Tamara Mariea, a clinical nutritionist based in Nashville, Tennessee, specializing in treating autism and George Carlo, described as an "expert on the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR)", who headed "the world's largest research program on mobile phone health hazards in the 1990s."
A quick look on Google reveals Dr Carlo is also a long term and prominent supporter of organizations pushing the idea that wireless communications of all flavors can cause ill health and long term damage, and not just to children.
Their work revealed the autism-wireless technology connection following a series of tests on autistic children monitored during 2005 and 2006.
Mariea and Carlo have previously raised concerns about such potential links, but few other researchers have studied the topic.
According to a press release Monday (Nov. 19) from the Washington, DC-based Science and Public Policy Institute, which was founded by Dr Carlo : The autistic children followed specific detoxification protocols in an environment that was mitigated with regard to sources of EMR including mobile phones and Wi-Fi. Heavy metal excretions were monitored from hair, urine and feces over periods ranging from several weeks to several months. The researchers found that with protocols administered in the mitigated environment, heavy metals were cleared from the children's bodies in a pattern dependent on time and molecular weight. The heaviest metals, such as mercury and uranium, cleared last. In many of the children, the decrease in metals was concomitant with symptom amelioration.
Tamara Mariea, said: "These findings give us very important clues to solving some of the enigmas we see in the autism literature regarding the efficacy of detoxification. And, we are extremely pleased with the results we are now seeing in these children. Our protocols are working."
Dr. Carlo added: "These findings tie in with other studies showing adverse cell-membrane responses and disruptions of normal cell physiology. The EMR apparently causes the metals to be trapped in cells, slowing clearance and accelerating the onset of symptoms."
The authors point out that the rise in cases of autism is paralleled by the huge growth in mobile phone and Wi-Fi usage since the late 1990's. They hasten to add that "some" of the increase in autism can be ascribed to more efficient diagnosis of the disorder.
But the bottom line, Dr Carlo insists, is that a rise of this magnitude "must have a major environmental cause. Our data offer a reasonable mechanistic explanation for a connection between autism and wireless technology".
We wait to see some corroborative evidence for any of this. In the meantime, since both autism and exposure to the so far unproven harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation in children are incredibly sensitive subjects, let's hope some more in depth studies prove that there is no such link.