Monday, June 2, 2014

Harvard study Links Air Pollution to Autism

A group of Utah doctors worried about the health effects of smog are pointing to a growing series of studies connecting autism to air pollution.

air pollution, autism, Harvard University

Several studies have been done linking the disorder to metals and other exhaust pollutants in the air, but new Harvard University research is the first nationwide study.

The results are especially startling because Utah has both one of the nation's highest autism rates and pollution levels during winter inversions.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, one in 47 Utah children is afflicted with autism, compared to one in 210 in Alabama, which has the best rate. According to the Utah Registry of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, the number of Utah 8-year-olds with autism has come close to tripling since 2002.

The problem is that children in the womb are known to be susceptible to neurological or genetic damage when exposed to heavy metals and diesel exhaust pollutants. The Harvard study gauged 325 autistic children of nurses.

"Air pollution contains many toxicants known to affect neurological function and to have effects on the fetus," states the Harvard study.

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