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New Study Ties Vehicle Exhaust to Autism

 

By Erin Weaver

Exposure to high levels of vehicle exhaust has been linked to a range of health issues, from premature birth to Alzheimer’s disease (see “Traffic Exhaust May Cause Brain Damage,” EBN Dec. 2011); new research suggests a correlation between traffic pollution and autism.

A California study published in Archives of General Psychiatry looked at 524 children, 279 of them with autism; using meteorological and traffic data from roads within approximately three miles of each home, researchers modeled traffic-related exposure to nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter during gestation and the first year of life. Children with the highest exposure, particularly during late gestation and early life, were three times as likely to have autism as those with the lowest exposure. The researchers observe that autism is likely caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

January 1, 2013

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