Home Page > Article > Air Pollution and Autism

A pregnant woman’s exposure to air pollution could slightly increase her child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD), suggests a study in JAMA¬†Pediatrics. Researchers studied the medical records of more than 132,000 children born in Vancouver between 2004 and 2009. The researchers looked at whether the children were diagnosed with ASD by age 5, and compared those data with neighborhood-level air pollution data. They found that children whose mothers had been exposed to the highest levels of the pollutant nitric oxide when pregnant had a 1.07 percent chance of developing ASD, compared with a 1 percent chance of developing the disorder for the children of the least-exposed mothers–a statistically significant difference. Levels of other pollutants (particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide) did not show statistically significant correlations with the number of ASD diagnoses. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives