Pollution from vehicles could be responsible for spike in autism

LOS ANGELES - Pollution from vehicles on the freeways could be responsible for a spike in autism.

According to a new study, the closer you live to a busy road or freeway, the more likely the chance of having a child with autism.

The findings are part of new research from the department of epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California at Los Angeles.

"What we found was an 8 to 10 percent increase in autism due to traffic related pollution," lead researcher Dr. Beate Ritz said.

The study looked only at available data and no interviews were conducted.  Researchers tracked results from air monitors around Los Angeles county, twice a year, over the last three years.  The information was linked to addresses from birth certificates and then records from the California Department of Developmental Services which gives assistance to families with autism.

"You can have a woman who lives close to a freeway in Long Beach with high exposure you can have a woman who lives downtown you can have a woman who lives in Pasadena," said Ritz.

Research shows one in 88 children are diagnosed with some form of autism.

While the study did not designate specific regions where the link of pollution and autism was most prevalent, it discovered women with less education and little available health resources lived in the high traffic pollution communities.

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