(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

Indoor pools in RDCK to reopen Oct. 13

Pools have been closed by the pandemic since March 16

Books for Kids fundraiser celebrates 10 years

The Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy’s annual campaign is in partnership with Black Press

Pandemic a growing, learning experience for young Argenta musician

Tenise Marie will perform Oct. 3 at the Capitol Theatre

Trial of RCMP officer begins in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after an incident in 2015

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read