June 18, 2013
By David Danelski, June 18, 2013
Smog hovers over the Inland area in July 2012.
I reported this spring that UCLA public health scientists had uncovered evidence suggesting that pregnant women living in high-pollution areas are more likely to have children who develop autism.
The lead researcher, Tracy Ann Becerra, told me that more research
could provide a clearer picture of the correlation the UCLA team found.
Well, Harvard University researchers this week published a new study that
offered some confirmation. The scientists found that women throughout
the nation who live in areas with polluted air are up to twice as likely
to have an autistic child than those living in communities with cleaner
Becerra and her UCLA colleagues had focused on medical records of
more than 7,000 women in Los Angeles County and found those exposed to
more pollution during their pregnancies had a 12 to 15 percent greater
chance of having an autistic child.
The Harvard researchers found a stronger correlation using national data.
To learn more, check out Brian Bienkowski’s report on the Harvard study published online by Environmental Health News.
Such studies add to growing evidence that air pollution — long known
to be harmful to our lungs and hearts — also is bad for our brains.
These disturbing discoveries have special relevance for Inland Empire
residents. We breathe some of the worst air in the nation.