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Autism linked to air pollution? Print E-mail
Written by Robert Smith   
Monday, 01 July 2013
Results of a new study were released and suggest that moms-to-be that are exposed to high levels of pollution are almost twice as likely to give birth to a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

With data collected from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Harvard School of Public Health linked autism to lead, manganese, diesel fuel, and mercury. The pregnant women living in areas that had the highest levels of diesel fuel or mercury were most at risk, having about two times the chance as those living in cleaner areas. Those in areas with high levels of pollution containing lead, manganese and methylene chloride, the study suggested, were 50 percent more likely to mother a child with autism.

"Our results suggest that new studies should begin the process of measuring metals and other pollutants in the blood of pregnant women or newborn children to provide stronger evidence that specific pollutants increase risk of autism," said study researcher Marc Weisskopf, associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

What are the probable causes of autism and Asperger's syndrome?
Autism and Asperger's are considered similar in a number of ways and while it is difficult for one person to say for certain the exact cause, there have been a number of studies that suggest certain links.

Besides pollution exposure by pregnant women discussed above, some other suggested causes according to the NHS UK site include:

mother having a bacterial or viral infection while pregnant
mother smoking while pregnant
the age of the father
pesticide exposure

Is it human nature to destroy our planet, which in turn affects our health, which in turn creates responsibilities that we may not be prepared to deal with? Isn't it easier to do our part to reduce our carbon footprint and do something each day to benefit the planet rather than destroy it, ourselves and our offspring?

 

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