“The huge rise of autism in Britain is linked to old iPod batteries, mobile phones and other products of the electronic age, a leading scientist claimed this weekend,” The Express On Sunday reports via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge.

The Express On Sunday reports, “Autistic children have been shown to have problems getting rid of toxic metals – and those metals are increasingly polluting the environment, says Dr Richard Lathe. ‘Think of iPod batteries, computers, television sets and mobile phones – thousands of them tossed aside without any thought to their proper disposal,’ says the molecular biologist, who specialises in research into autism and other brain disorders.”

“In the wake of this week’s reports that autism has shot up to a record high of one per cent of the population, Dr Lathe is about to publish his own shock results from a study of hundreds of children in France,” The Express On Sunday reports. “More than half those who were autistic were found to have a marker of heavy metal in their urine, he says. ‘Couple this with a study published last month showing a correlation between mercury release into the environment and autism rates in Texas, and yet another study showing that autistic children have a problem getting rid of mercury through their hair, and you have a substantial body of evidence.’”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In related news, a man tipped over while canoeing this past Saturday on the Hudson River. The man swam safely to shore, but the canoe sank and was lost. The man has been an Apple iPod owner since 2004.

Did you know that Apple rechargeable batteries actually provide a better solution for both your pocketbook and the planet? If your iPod were powered by 4-AA Alkaline batteries and you used just one pack per week (conservative estimate), after two years you would have spent over $200 and piled up 400 dead, potentially autism-causing batteries.

MacDailyNews Note: FYI for iPod Owners: Your one year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. You can extend your coverage to two years with AppleCare Protection Plan. During the second year, Apple will replace the battery if it drops below 50% of its original capacity. If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $59, plus $6.95 shipping. Apple disposes your battery in an environmentally-friendly manner. More info here.