Pregnant women who have more exposure to higher pollution areas are at more of risk for having children with autism

This is the most recent in several similar studies to suggest this although it is the first national study. The suspect agents include diesel exhaust, mercury, manganese, lead, methylene chloride and nickel. Pollutants of this nature present in the atmosphere pose a higher risk to mothers in these areas for giving birth to children with autism. Mercury and diesel exhaust were found to pose the highest risk.
Other researchers argue that there is a higher risk of autistic children being born to mothers living in areas polluted with several industrial pollutants. Windham et al. (2006), suggested that a potential association exists between autism and other elements of environmental pollution such as metal particles and possible solvents in the atmosphere. Pregnant women who lived near San Francisco bay and exposed to environmental pollutants were susceptible to autism spectrum disorders. This is due to the particulate matter in air and vaporization of mercury from asphalt during hot weather causing increased exposure to higher than normal levels of contamination. Windham et al. (2006) suggested that areas with increased concentrations of hazardous pollutants are at more risk of experiencing autism disorders. This also occurs along the west coast where there are increased ambient levels of particulate pollutants blown in from Asian countries that are the largest producers of these pollutants from coal burning in power production plants. These pollutants are neurotoxins that cross the placental barrier to the baby during development in the womb and cause genetic changes leading to defective genes. These genes disrupt brain development by causing a breakdown in the process in the fetus and cause autism. According to Kalkbrenner et al., (2014), this may also be by retarding natural nervous system development or by hindering immune cells from assisting more efficient neuron

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