Posted: Nov 29, 2012 8:08 AM by Marissa Torres
Updated: Nov 29, 2012 8:09 AM
Researchers may have found a clue into what causes Autism in children. A recent study found the risk factors can go up when babies are exposed to air pollution from cars.
The new study shows that babies who are exposed to pollution in the womb and during their first year of life are more likely to become Autistic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Autism now affects one in every 88 babies born in the United States; that's a 24% increase over the past six years.
New research from the Keck School of Medicine at USC shows children whose mothers lived in areas with high levels of pollution from traffic are twice as likely to develop autism.
"This does not say pollution causes autism, what it says is... there is an association," says Dr. Douglas Vanderbuilt, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who treats Autism. He says the study suggests that Nitrogen Dioxide and small particles that come from traffic pollution affect -not just the lungs - but also the brain.
"I think it's a lot of hope because we're moving forward and trying to understand what's causing this problem... How we can diagnose it and treat it."
Autism Speaks, the world's leading non-profit organization advocating for autistic children, issued a statement on the research saying:
"This study helps our understanding of environmental risk factors... researchers now know that there is not one single environmental factor that causes autism. in fact, there are most likely many different factors working together with genetics to cause a diagnosis."