Air pollution raises risk of autism

Air pollution raises risk of autism

CNN: A U.S. study of in utero exposure to air pollutants, the first of its kind, shows increased risk of children later developing autism.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) say that early-life exposure to pollution, including diesel particulates, mercury and lead, could contribute to a higher risk of autism disorders.

They came to that conclusion after analyzing data from a nationwide sample of 116,430 nurses participating in the Nurses' Health Study II, an on-going survey that began in 1989. Among the volunteers, 325 had children with autism, and most of them lived in areas with higher levels of pollutants than those who didn't have children affected by the developmental disorder.

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