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Traffic Pollution Tied to Autism Risk

For pregnant women, exposure to heavy traffic pollution could lead to a higher risk of having an autistic baby.

UCLA researchers point to the link between traffic pollution and autism in a largest study of this kind.

The team compared pollution exposure levels of 7600 autistic children born between 1995 and 2006 with the same number of children without autism and found women exposed to heavy pollution have a 10 percent increase in the risk of having an autistic baby.

"That means, if you have ten children and you are exposed to traffic toxic, the eleventh child may get autism,” Dr. Beate Ritz explains.

In the same study, Dr. Ritz also finds that autism risk is higher among less educated family and minority groups.

For Jackie Huang, the study unsolved a question she has for years. Her son was diagnosed with autism at three, but she never finds a leading cause of disease.

"My son could say a lot of things in both English and Chinese at 18 month old. Then a few month after that, he has strange behaviors like tearing paper for hours.” 

Now Huang believe her son’s autism has something to do with her job at a downtown accounting firm.

"I went to see clients at different locations as an auditor. The job was really stressful and I sit in traffic for long hours,” she said. 

But other autistic parents express wariness of studies of this kinds.

"I understand that a lot of parents are very interested in it. I am not anymore. At this point I am more interested in helping my son become a functional member of our world in terms of having a job one day. It bothered me a little bit that we had so much studies that is not helpful to parents, I am a little tired of it,” said Gloria Perez Stewart, an autism advocates and autistic parents.

The researchers have yet to find some preventative measures, but Dr. Ritz suggests that pregnant eat as healthy as possible and avoid unnecessary commute.

COMMENTS

So then lets assume this article is correct, then that would explain the lack of Autism in Holmes County, Ohio the largest Amish community in the U.S. has virtually "Zero" autism other than the one girl adopted by an Amish family, however most of the Amish here have not been vaccinated as well, so which one would it be, much less traffic pollution, or much less vaccines, it would be interesting to know.

I see you realized your article was ignorant and didn't allow comments!

With respect to the article's "The researchers have yet to find some preventative measures, but Dr. Ritz suggests that pregnant eat as healthy as possible and avoid unnecessary commute", the fact is that, based on all surveys in the USA, the rate for autism in the never-vaccinated population is on the order of < 1 in 1,500 to 1 in > 15,000.

Thus, the OBVIOUS empirical "cure" for the current autism epidemic (estimated as 1 in 50 children) in the USA is for parents to never be vaccinated before or during pregnancy and to never vaccinate their children!

How Ridiculous, OMG!

Officially autism affects one in every 50 kids, one in every 31 boys.

In the 1970s, the autism rate was one in every 10,000 kids and almost no one knew anyone with autism. That changed when the definition was broadened in 1994 to include other behaviors doctors were seeing in children. At that point the numbers exploded.
1995 1:500
2001 1:250
2004 1:166
2007 1:150
2009 1:110
2012 1:88
2013 1:50
Some people claim that all the autism is the result of better diagnosing of a disorder that's always been around. If that were true, the rate would have leveled out between 1995 and 2000, after the definition was changed in 1994. That hasn't happened.

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

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