A survey carried out by an Australian university reveals that the descendants of those who suffered from a form of mercury poisoning disease back in 1950s continue to be affected by it after it was found to be a cause of autism among the grandchildren of those who were affected.
The survey was carried out by Swinburne University of Technology who polled over 500 survivors of the mercury poisoning disease known as Pink Disease which was eradicated in 1950s.
The survivors were asked about the health of their children and grandchildren, numbering over 1100 and 1360 respectively, and found that around 4 percent of the grandchildren in the age group of 6-12 years suffered from autism spectrum disorder compared to the overall average of less than 1 percent.
"Staggeringly, we found that one in 25 grandchildren of pink disease survivors aged 6 to 12 had been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This compares to the current Australian prevalence rate for that age group of one in 160", lead researcher Professor David Austin wrote in the report that has been published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health.