Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder: An ecological study of Texas

Ray Palmer, Steven Blanchard, Zachary Stein, David Mandell, Claudia Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

156 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The association between environmentally released mercury, special education and autism rates in Texas was investigated using data from the Texas Education Department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. A Poisson regression analysis adjusted for school district population size, economic and demographic factors was used. There was a significant increase in the rates of special education students and autism rates associated with increases in environmentally released mercury. On average, for each 1000 lb of environmentally released mercury, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. The association between environmentally released mercury and special education rates were fully mediated by increased autism rates. This ecological study suggests the need for further research regarding the association between environmentally released mercury and developmental disorders such as autism. These results have implications for policy planning and cost analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalHealth and Place
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006

Fingerprint

Special Education
Autistic Disorder
autism
Mercury
special education
education
developmental disorder
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Policy Making
demographic factors
Population Density
environmental protection
economic factors
cost analysis
regression analysis
Regression Analysis
Economics
Demography
rate
mercury

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Ecological
  • Environmental toxins
  • Mercury
  • Special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Development
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder : An ecological study of Texas. / Palmer, Ray; Blanchard, Steven; Stein, Zachary; Mandell, David; Miller, Claudia.

In: Health and Place, Vol. 12, No. 2, 06.2006, p. 203-209.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Palmer, Ray ; Blanchard, Steven ; Stein, Zachary ; Mandell, David ; Miller, Claudia. / Environmental mercury release, special education rates, and autism disorder : An ecological study of Texas. In: Health and Place. 2006 ; Vol. 12, No. 2. pp. 203-209.
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