Children's Health

Study Finds Link Between Autism, Air Pollutants



Researchers have found that children who live near freeways at birth have twice the risk of autism, suggesting that environmental factors may play a role in the disorder's growing incidence.

A study by researchers at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles found that babies who lived within 1,000 feet of a freeway, but not a major road, were at risk.

Lead researcher Helen Volk says that may be due to the type and high level of pollutants on a freeway.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 304 children with autism and 259 normally developing children.

A 2006 study also found autistic children were 50 percent more likely to have been born around contaminated air.