New research on autism shows environmental factors have large impacts

New studies show that environmental exposures before and during pregnancy are contributing to the rising autism rates.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism rates rose to about one in every 100 babies. Researchers found that they cannot blame these affects solely on genetics.

In a 2011 survey by Stanford University, researchers found that genes accounted for 38 percent of autism risk while environmental factors were responsible for 62 percent. A separate study performed at the Harvard School of Public Health discovered what specific particles were triggering the increase of autism in children.

An EMagazine article, which covered all the mentioned studies, reads: “They found that a mother’s exposure to high levels of certain air pollutants—such as diesel particles—increased the risk of having a baby with autism by 30 percent to 50 percent. The strongest associations were seen with ozone and fine particulate matter.”

On the other hand, the article assures pregnant women iron supplementation reduces the risk for a child with autism.


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