Editor’s Note: When it comes to autism causation, it’s hard to turn around these days without drowning in a giant pool of mercury (actually, you wouldn’t drown, you’d float with your whole body on top of it). This new study out of Harvard shows air pollution is associated with an increased risk of having children with autism — and that mercury and diesel fuel, which contains mercury along with other environmental miscreants, double the risk. This comes on top of two studies in Texas by Palmer et al. that showed autism increases the closer you live to a coal-fired plant (mercury again). And there’s our own research linking it to the first cases of the brand-new disorder in the 1930s (see video here).[youtube KiT7Y233404&feature]
The goofball brigade has already set upon the new study like a pack of hyenas. Sorry fellas: mercury, including and especially ethylmercury in vaccines, caused the environmental, manmade, iatrogenic autism epidemic. — Dan Olmsted
Living in an area with high levels of air pollution may increase a woman’s chances of having a child with autism, according to the first national study to date that investigates the possible link.
“Women who were exposed to the highest levels of diesel or mercury in the air were twice as likely to have a child with autism than women who lived in the cleanest parts of the sample,” study author Andrea Roberts, a research associate with the Harvard School of Public Health, told The Huffington Post.
Earlier studies have established a potential connection between air pollution and autism risk, but have concentrated on a few individual states. The latest study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives on Tuesday, draws on a large sample of women across the whole country.
Researchers crossed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data on the level of air pollutants from year to year with data from the Nurses’ Health Study, one of the longest running investigations of women’s health in the U.S. They looked for associations between levels of pollutants in the time and place that a woman was pregnant and whether that woman went on to have a child with a diagnosed autism spectrum disorder.
The researchers split up the locations into fifths, and women who lived in the most polluted sections — those with the highest levels of diesel particulates or mercury in the air — were twice as likely to have a child with autism compared to those in the cleanest sections. Other types of air pollution, including lead, manganese and other hard metals, were also linked to a greater risk of autism, although the risk was not quite as high.
Read the full post at: Huffington Post “Autism Air Pollution Study”