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Autism stats don’t hold up

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In regard to the comments of Gerald Ross on autism (Readers' Forum, Feb. 19), he and his peers need to look closer at the mathematics. If I understood his statistical claim, it is this: "On average, for each 1,000-pound increase of environmentally released mercury, there was a 61 percent increase in the rate of autism." Under this supposition, mathematically, if we were to begin with an autistic rate of 10 per hundred, after the release of only 5,000 pounds the entire population would be autistic. An interesting result which is completely outside reality. Environmentalists often do not complete the story.

Richard Proctor