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J Autism Dev Disord. 2012 Jun;42(6):929-36. doi: 10.1007/s10803-011-1318-6.

Heavy metal in children's tooth enamel: related to autism and disruptive behaviors?

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Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, School of Social Ecology, University of California, Irvine, 4201 Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Irvine, CA 92697-7085, USA.


To examine possible links between neurotoxicant exposure and neuropsychological disorders and child behavior, relative concentrations of lead, mercury, and manganese were examined in prenatal and postnatal enamel regions of deciduous teeth from children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), high levels of disruptive behavior (HDB), and typically developing (TD) children. Using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we found no significant differences in levels of these neurotoxicants for children with ASDs compared with TD children, but there was marginal significance indicating that children with ASDs have lower manganese levels. No significant differences emerged between children with HDB and TD children. The current findings challenge the notion that perinatal heavy metal exposure is a major contributor to the development of ASDs and HDB.

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