(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

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into Northern Sentinel office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

Indigenous LNG supporters chide human rights advocates over pipeline comments

Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with 20 elected First Nation councils along the pipeline’s 670-kilometre path

Expect delays between Terrace and Prince Rupert on Highway 16

Avalanche control work is planned between Legaic Rd and Frank St. for 136.8 km

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

B.C.’s first ride-hailing app to launch in Tofino, Whistler in February

The Whistle! app will be available in Tofino on Feb.1 and in Whistler Feb. 6.

Councillor resigns in Revelstoke after colleagues approved 67% raise

Council approved a 134 per cent raise for the mayor of Revelstoke

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ when screening for coronavirus

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

Cellarman at Okanagan winery fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Most Read