Faculty Advisor

Bergendahl, John Andrew


Recent studies indicate that there is a possible link between neurological disorders and neurotoxins in the environment. The objective of this project was to quantify normalized disorder prevalence in relation to the level of toxins present in the United States between the years of 1990 to 2007. The disorders investigated were autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cerebral palsy, and mental retardation. The neurotoxins studied were polyvinyl chloride, lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Analysis of the trends indicated that an increase in autism rates was associated with an increase in certain neurotoxins. Further research would be beneficial in elucidating the exact cause of the rising trends in these neurological disorders.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2008

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering