It should come as no surprise that if an expecting mother breathes air of poor quality, her child might suffer for it. Lung development trouble, premature births, and other complications have all been associated with severe air pollution. However, a new study has now linked air pollution with autism as well.
This is not the first time risk of autism development has been tied to maternal air pollution exposure. However, according to researcher Marc Weisskopf, the senior author of the new study, the specificity of these latest findings make the study of particular importance, as it “rules out many other possible explanation” for the results.
The study was published yesterday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and details how Weisskopf and his colleagues asessed a cohort of more than 116,000 US mothers whose pregnancies began as early as 1989. The researchers collected data on where participants lived during their pregnancies, as well as data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other sources on localized levels of fine particulate matter air pollution.