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Study Links Autism to 210 Freeway Traffic

The UCLA study identifies 7,603 autistic children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy.

Researchers at UCLA have discovered a link between cases of autism in Los Angeles County and air pollution caused mostly by freeway traffic in the area, including that of the 210 Freeway running through Glendora.

The study, published March 1 in Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 7,603 children ages 3-5 who were diagnosed with autism during 1998-2009 and found associations between the disorder and pregnant women living in Los Angles County. The researchers worked closely with the California Department of Developmental Services and other agencies to identify children for the study.

The researchers — Tracy Ann Becerra, Michelle Wilhelm, Jørn Olsen, Myles Cockburn and Beate Ritz — used a land-use regression model of statistical analysis and data from ambient air pollutant monitoring stations positioned throughout L.A. County.

JC March 11, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Get your children immunized. There is absolutely no proof immunizations are linked to autism. You put all our children at risk when you fail to immunize. I know several people with autistic children who, because of religious conviction, did not immunize, so there goes your proof (and the parents weren't vaccinated, either.) There's an entire generation of us who had vaccines and the autism rates for us are not what they are for this younger generation. How do you explain THAT? In fact, we grew up before smog controls on cars, and couldn't see the mountains for most of the summer because the pollution was so bad. I doubt very much this is the answer. Keep on researching! My personal opinion? Maybe it has to do with all the processed, sprayed, no-nutrition foods we choose to eat. Those chemicals can't be doing anyone any good.
Terry March 11, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Southern California must be full of autistic people since there are freeways everywhere.
AB March 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I'm the parent of an autistic child who has done years of research as to possible causes. This article simply presents another "possible" cause. JC, while it is extremely important for most children to be vaccinated, research in fact, DOES offer evidence of a possible link of Autism to vaccines. It has to do with the way the vaccines were previously constructed, which has since been remedied. I understand your confusion, however. When you offer new vaccines that previous generations did not receive (such as chickenpox, for example) utilizing different elements, you cannot compare past generations of individuals being vaccinated to present ones. It is an innacurate sampling. While I had my first two children (who don't have autism) vaccinated, I have been extremely hesitant to have my child with autism vaccinated. On a somewhat related note, it is darkly amusing to note that one of the recommendations made in order to help facilitate the best possible cognitive values was for my child to take fish oil capsules. The irony here being that the fish used for these capsules also contain high levels of mercury (as in past vaccines). One of the areas of the country with the highest percentage of autistic children is the Silicone Valley. Not to disparage the results we have here, but what do we know of the air quality in that region? It might make for an interesting comparable study.
Secret I'm Listed March 12, 2013 at 02:09 AM
How about drug use? Has anyone done a study on whether the parents or grandparents, etc., used illegal drugs at any time? Perhaps something settled in the reproduction organs of the drug user and was passed on to another generation. Has anyone done a study on this possibility? It would make more sense than this UCLA study.
not Carl Peterson lll March 12, 2013 at 06:55 AM
secret because. Epigenetics would tie in with your theory. Although ones DNA is stable, and it takes 10's or 100's of thousands of years to naturally alter humans, Epigenetics happens generation to generation. For example: If a woman was lets say, in the potatoe famine, of Ireland while she was pregnant, the baby, while perhaps being affected directly, it is the babies eggs that are at going to react, and change. In a man, since the sperm is constantly being manufactured, his children would have change. the change is in how the technically unchanged DNA expresses itself, turning on, off or otherways that it can. My memory of how it works is a bit light, so... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics

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