(Unsplash)

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

A woman breathing polluted air while pregnant is linked to a higher chance of her baby developing autism, a new study from Simon Fraser University suggests.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, looked at 132,256 – nearly all – births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009.

Researchers used high-resolution maps of air pollution to measure women’s exposure to fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric oxide during pregnancy and then looked to see whether autism rates were different for children of women living in more polluted parts of the region.

The results showed a slightly increased risk of autism in children whose would-be mothers had been exposed to nitric oxide, but not fine particulate matter or nitrogen dioxide.

SFU Health Sciences researcher Lief Pagalan, who analyzed the birth data, said the results were similar to others reached in the United States, Israel and Taiwan.

“Our study, which indicates that air pollution is associated with autism in a city with relatively lower levels of air pollution, adds to the growing concern that there may be no safe levels of exposure to air pollution,” said Pagalan.

“While the causes of autism are not yet fully known, this study suggests that reducing exposure to air pollutants in pregnant women could reduce the likelihood of their children developing autism.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents treated for smoke inhalation after fire in Maple Ridge building

Fire took place in the 11800 block of Laity Street

Muse proceeds with cannabis store in Westgate Shopping Centre

Private retail store would be within 1,000m of proposed government store in Maple Ridge

VIDEO: Person falls from roof in Maple Ridge

Air ambulance was called but victim taken by ground instead

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ to find Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

Canucks fan risks life to celebrate at Surrey intersection

‘All fun and games until somebody falls out an open side door of the van’

Most Read