Which link between autism and air pollutants?


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. recent reviews estimate a global median prevalence of 62/10 000, that is one child in 160 has an autism spectrum disorder. Some recent studies have, however, reported rates that are substantially higher.

Scientific evidence already suggested that various factors, both genetic and environmental, contribute to the onset of autism spectrum disorders by influencing early brain development. However, the exact cause of the disorder is still unknown to the medical community.

But a recent study conducted in Western Pennsylvania focused on two hundred children, some living in areas with high levels of air pollution and others without, found that those living in areas with significant levels of air pollution were much more likely to suffer from Autism than those that lived in healthier areas. To reach their findings, the research team interviewed 217 families of children with autism. The children were born between 2005 and 2009, and the families resided in six counties in Pennsylvania.

Other studies, however, have indicated that early exposure to environmental factors may contribute to its development. This study only reinforces the idea that the environmental factors and the air quality matters in understanding the causes of autism....

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