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Exposure to high pollution levels during pregnancy may increase risk of having child with autism
Date:6/17/2013

her types of air pollutionlead, manganese, methylene chloride, and combined metal exposurewere associated with higher autism risk as well. Women who lived in the 20% of locations with the highest levels of these pollutants were about 50% more likely to have a child with autism than those who lived in the 20% of areas with the lowest concentrations.

Most pollutants were associated with autism more strongly in boys than girls. However, since there were few girls with autism in the study, the authors said this finding should be examined further.

Senior author Marc Weisskopf, associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology at HSPH, said, "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. A better understanding of this can help to develop interventions to reduce pregnant women's exposure to these pollutants."


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Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8413
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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