If this is true, increasing levels of OP compounds in the environment would, through a sequence of stages, result in increasing permeability of membranes of the intestines and the blood brain barrier as well as other membranes, such as those lining the respiratory organs. The increased permeability of such membranes would permit the passage not only of peptides, but of slightly larger polypeptides or even protein material. These molecules could be large enough and present in sufficient quantities to cause antibodies to be produced which, in turn, generate allergies or hypersensitivities.
Thus, we could anticipate increased incidences of autism and its associated disorders as well as hay fever, hypersensitivities and afflictions of the intestinal tract. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; Creutzfeldt Jakob disease) might be explained in this way.
It was soon after the switch from the older organochlorine to OPs (between 1979 and 1982) that these problems arose. BSE made its first appearance between 1984 and 1986, followed by 'new variant' CJD the human form a couple of years later. Interestingly, it is reported that the first victims of new variant CJD were farmers. Perhaps this was, as reported, because of their proximity to afflicted cattle, but it could also have been as a consequence of their intimate and frequent contact with OP pesticides. The damage from OPs would then have facilitated transmission of the disease.
There appears to be an increase in the incidence in autism and of many other disorders which, at first sight, are apparently unrelated. The increases are real and not merely the aftermath of improved diagnoses. If this is the case, environmental factors are certain to be involved. There are many possible factors, but two important common areas are the infectious products introduced by vaccination programmes and the wholesale use of OP insecticides.
But, with thousands of pesticides awash in the environment and dozens of vaccination jabs into the arms of infants, the genie is already out of the bottle. Only after an entire generation is exposed will we know for sure.
Paul Shattock is head of the Autism Research Unit, University of Sunderland.