Data of Interest: Autism Rates by Country

Our team at the Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external data resource on autism:

Autism Rates by Country” from

The ten countries with the highest autism rates in the world are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Japan, the USA, the Netherlands, Ireland, Brunei, Canada, Singapore, and Andorra.
At the top of the list is the United Kingdom, whose rate of 700.07 per 100k is one of the highest recorded in any country. Not far behind is Sweden, with a rate of 661.85 per 100k, followed by Japan at 604.72 per 100k. The United States of America also ranks highly with an autism rate of 603.38 per 100k, as does the Netherlands at 591.54 per 100k.

This is important because recent research from the TILT Program appears to have uncovered underlying reasons for the rapid rise in autism, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

Unprecedented levels of synthetic chemicals are released and inhaled from construction materials and furnishings, as well as from substances deliberately released into the air or applied to surfaces. These include cleaning products, fragrances, tobacco smoke, mothballs, disinfectants, and emissions from gas stoves and heaters. Mold in water-damaged buildings can also release toxic chemicals into the air.

The consequences, Miller said, are more chemically exposed and disabled individuals, including and especially children. An earlier paper by Dr. Miller found that children of chemically intolerant mothers have almost triple the risk of developing ADHD or autism.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from Hoffman TILT’s Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!