Study: Living Near Freeways Doubles Infant Autism Risk

Researchers first to link condition to pollution

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Children born to mothers living near freeways may be twice as likely to have autism, according to a study released Thursday.

The paper, published by researchers from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the USC Keck School of Medicine and UC Davis MIND Institute found that children born to parents living within 1,000 feet of a freeway are two times as likely to have autism.

Air pollution is known to have physical and developmental effects on fetuses. However, the authors said the new study is the first to link vehicular pollutants to autism, although direct measurements of pollutants were not made.

“Children born to mothers living within 309 meters of a freeway appeared to be twice as likely to have autism,” said Dr. Heather Volk, the primary author of the study.


(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. jip says:

    Why does it take the scientific field SO LONG to learn what any dummy on the street already knows. Look at the food, the BPEs, etc. We poison ourselves everyday.

  2. LEXUSRY says:

    YOU DON”T NEED TO DO ANY STUDY. ANYONE LIVED NEXT TO THE FREEWAY OR STREET WILL EXPOSE TO TIRE DUST,CONCRETE DUST FROM ROAD CONSTRUCTION, BRAKE DUST,FUMES, CHEMICALS, AND METAL DUST. WHEN SANTA ANA WIND SHOW UP, IT CARRY ALL THE JUNK, CHEMICALS, OTHER TOXIC TO PEOPLE HOMES. JUST LOOK AT PLANTS OR LEAVES, IT IS BLACK OR FILTY. THOSE PRESCHOOL PLAYGROUND THAT PARENTS DON’T BOTHER DOING RESEARCH ARE COVER WITH CHEMICALS ,BRAKE DUST, TIRE DUST, AND FUME

  3. Bob Dinitto says:

    I grew up in a home several hundred feed from Route 95 in Woburn, Massachusetts. This is an 8 lane Interstate freeway. I can attest to the constant intrusion of dust, fumes and noise pollution. The sound of it is the most interesting. The whooshing of cars and trucks and the sound of grinding, shifting gears forms an omnipresent, faint background noise. When I moved away at age 19 to my own apartment in a quiet neighborhood I couldn’t sleep for the first two weeks because the sound of the distant traffic was not there to lull me off to dreamland.

  4. Kathy Silverstein says:

    We already know that there are a lot of environmental risk factors for autism, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. However, it is quite sad, to think that merely by the fact of where you live, you could be putting your child at higher risk for autism. I read another article recently about autism clusters in California. Most of them were in the LA area, which has an awful lot of freeways and traffic pollution, so that could be an interesting correlation. What is particularly sad is that those who live closest to these sources of pollution are usually people that are less well off economically and can least afford the resources needed to treat a child with autism.
    For anyone who wants to learn more about Asperger’s and autism, here is a site that I found http://aspergerssociety.org/articles/toc.htm
    I hope that we can find ways to mitigate these risks so the autism rate does not keep going up.

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