(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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Haida hereditary chief named Liberal Candidate for North Coast Region

Roy Jones Jr. is named Liberal MLA candidate for the North Coast

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read