BY BOB HOLT
A recent study has found further links of environmental factors to an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders.
Research by the Harvard School of Public Health involving 1,767 children indicated that air pollution could increase their chances of developing autism.
According to the study, exposure to air pollution during the third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy increased her chances of having a child with autism. "Most importantly, we're finding that the association is specific to pregnancy, especially the third trimester," said researcher Marc Weisskopf, according to US News.
"That helps rule out a lot of other factors that could explain the association."
The study involved women who gave birth between 1990 and 2002. It analyzed 245 children who had autism, and 1,522 who did not. The BBC reported that the strongest correlation came from fine particulate matter - mineral dust, carbon and other chemicals that can enter the bloodstream. Weisskopf said,