Q: Is overexposure to PCBs linked to autism?
There have been studies done that show that overexposure to PCBs can cause learning disabilities and may even cause autism. Animals tested in recent studies show that those that were exposed to higher amounts of PCBs led to poorer learning ability and an over-activity in the part of the brain responsible for memory. There are also studies that directly link PCBs to "brain plasticity" which is related to schizophrenia, mental retardation, and autism.
A specific test conducted by the University of California San Francisco in 2007 showed in a study on rats that PCBs directly affect the same part of the brain that is affected by autism. The study suggests that PCB toxins causes problems in the auditory cortex which is the part of the brain that deals with language and speech.
For additional information about health problems caused by overexposure to PCBs continue reading more information about PCBs on our site.