A study conducted by the University of Texas, San Antonio concluded that for every 1,ooo lbs of environmentally released mercury, there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. A second study conducted in 2008 by the Unviersity of Texas showed a statistically significant link between pounds of industrial release of mercury and increased autism rates. It also showed -- for the first time in scientific literature -- a statistically significant association between autism risk and distance from the mercury source. It found that community autism prevalence is reduced by 1-2% with each 10 miles of distance from the pollution source.
A similar study done in conjunction with the California State Department of Health Services studied the association between autism and heavy metals including mercury. They found a 50% increase in autism in areas with high levels of environmental exposure to chlorinated solvents and heavy metals - particularly mercury, cadmium and nickel.
According to the EPA, the Lafarge Cement Plant in Ravena, NY emitted an average of 380-400 lbs per year from 2003 until 2006. This totals 1520 - 1600 lbs in just four years, far exceeding the 1,000 lb level studied by the University of Texas. And this doesn't include emissions from any other years.
You can access the studies at: