University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researcher finds link between air pollution and autism

Milwaukee — A study conducted by Amy Kalkbrenner , a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has added further evidence linking air pollution to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The journal Epidemiology recently published this online research showing the probable relation of air pollutants to autism rates in North Carolina.

The results of the research conducted by Kalkbrenner has revealed similarities to previous studies already conducted into the links between autism and pollutants in the California area.

Kalkbrenner’s research focuses on pregnant women’s exposure to a specific type of particulate matter (PM10) which rises partly from the existence of air pollution in the environment. The study analyzed records of 87,000 children in North Carolina and 77,500 children in California who were born between the mid to late 1990s. Researchers evaluated the pollution index in both states from the time of per-conception to their first birthdays.

The study found that the children’s susceptibility to develop autism increased during the third trimester of pregnancy; but the reason behind this still remains unclear. The evidence gathered suggesting links between air pollution and autism however is considered a huge step in shedding more light to the puzzle that surrounds ASD. According to Kalkbrenner:

“It adds another piece supporting the hypothesis that environmental chemicals are part of the autism puzzle… We’ve now had three solid studies saying the same thing. The evidence is pretty compelling that something is going on with air pollution and autism.”

The original article can be read on the NewsWise website here.

Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta