Pollution

Study Ties Traffic Pollution to Autism Risk

Tracks exposure while in the womb

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Babies who are exposed to lots of traffic-related air pollution in the womb and during their first year of life are more likely to become autistic, suggests a new study.

The findings support previous research linking how close children live to freeways with their risk of autism, according to the study's lead author.

"We're not saying traffic pollution causes autism, but it may be a risk factor for it," said Heather Volk, an assistant professor at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.