Thursday, May 25, 2006

Pica and Heavy Metal Toxicity

Developmentally delayed children tend to have Pica. Pica can result in higher blood lead levels, particularly if the child is eating paint chips. I was wondering what the impact of Pica might be on any studies that attempt to correlate heavy metal toxicity with autism.

Some references follow.

Accardo et al (1988)

Shannon et al (1996)

Cohen et al (1976)

My son does like to chew on paper sometimes. He likes to eat all kinds of things he finds on the floor. Strangely, he's fussy about actual food. No paint chips, however, as far as I know. I will discuss this with his pediatrician in any case.


  1. My son chewed on every toy, pencils, his shirttails, everything. Someone wrote the mouth is very sensitive! He also ate about 3 things...fries, chickie nuggets, and ice cream.

    We had lived in an older house when he was young. He was tested for lead, and showed a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was very relieved.

    At least you would know, and have one less thing to think about.

  2. most of the wood in my house exhibits signs of my son's pica. also he chews paper and loves to eat dirt. does anyone have any real knowledge of this?

  3. One of my dd's is forever eating non-edibles. Paper, books, molding. Her level of lead is off the charts.
    Her twin munches on her clothing and blankets. When she has been tested for heavy metals, she has shown no elevated numbers.
    No semi-appropriate chewy thing has been able to redirect this habit for very long.
    Strangely, he's fussy about actual food.
    I had to smile at this. Familiar territory indeed.

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