Young children in polluted areas more likely to develop autism

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Children who are exposed to traffic pollution before they are born, and in their first year, are twice as likely to develop autism, finds a new study.

Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of SouthernCalifornia examined data from the Childhood Autism Risks from Geneticsand the Environment study of more than 400 children, 279 of whom areaffected by autism.

To estimate a child's exposure to traffic air pollution before birth andduring their first year of life, researchers looked at records on thelevels of pollution at a mother's address. They found that childrenexposed to air pollution had more than a twofold risk of autism. Even ifmothers didn't live near a busy road but in a region with poorer areaquality there was an increased risk.

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