Skip to main content

Toxic Air Pollutants Tied to Greater Risk of Autism

Children from birth to three years old who are exposed to fine particles from vehicle exhausts, industrial emissions and other sources of outdoor pollution are at greater risk of developing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by up to 78 percent, according to a new study by Australian researchers from Monash University.

The research was conducted in Shanghai, China, and included 124 ASD children and 1,240 healthy children. The children were assessed in stages over a nine-year period, allowing the researchers to examine the association between air pollution and ASD.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, is the first to look at the effects of long-term exposure of air pollution on ASD during the early life of children in a developing country. The findings add to the body of growing evidence linking prenatal air pollution exposure to ASD in children.

“The causes of autism are complex and not fully understood, but environmental factors are increasingly recognized in addition to genetic and other factors,” said Associate Professor Yuming Guo from Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Australia.

“The developing brains of young children are more vulnerable to toxic exposures in the environment and several studies have suggested this could impact brain function and the immune system.”

“These effects could explain the strong link we found between exposure to air pollutants and ASD, but further research is needed to explore the associations between air pollution and mental health more broadly,” Guo said.

Air pollution is a major public health concern and is estimated to cause up to 4.2 million deaths each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Outdoor pollutants contribute to a high burden of disease and premature deaths in countries including China and India, especially in densely populated areas.

Air pollution is rapidly becoming worse and there is no safe level of exposure, Guo said. Even in Australia where concentrations are typically lower, air pollution from burning fossil fuels and industrial processes leads to around 3,000 premature deaths a year — almost three times the national road toll and costing the economy up to $24 billion.

“The serious health effects of air pollution are well-documented, suggesting there is no safe level of exposure. Even exposure to very small amounts of fine particulate matter have been linked to preterm births, delayed learning and a range of serious health conditions, including heart disease,” Guo said.

The researchers investigated the health effects of three types of particulate matter: PM1, PM2.5, PM10. These are fine airborne particles that are the byproducts of emissions from factories, vehicular pollution, construction activities and road dust.

The smaller the airborne particles, the more capable they are of penetrating the lungs and entering the bloodstream causing a range of serious health conditions. PM1 is the smallest in particle size but few studies have been done on PM1 globally and agencies are yet to set safety standards for it.

“Despite the fact that smaller particles are more harmful, there is no global standard or policy for PM1 air pollution. Given that PM1 accounts for about 80% of PM2.5 pollution in China alone, further studies on its health effects and toxicology are needed to inform policymakers to develop standards for the control of PM1 air pollution in the future.”

Source: Monash University

 



from Psych Central News https://ift.tt/2PLrI5s
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Working Remotely Is Not Necessarily Stress-Free

Many believe that working from home or remotely can foster freedom and stress-free job satisfaction, and that everyone wants  more work autonomy. A new study from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, says “Not so fast.” In the study, researchers examined the impact of remote work on employee well-being. Their findings suggest that a variety of factors can undermine or accent the employee benefits of working off-site. Accordingly, researchers developed new strategies to help managers provide remote-work opportunities that are valuable to the employee and the company. “Any organization, regardless of the extent to which people work remotely, needs to consider well-being of their employees as they implement more flexible working practices,” the researchers wrote. The study appears in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology . In the review, a total of 403 working adults were surveyed for the two studies that made up the research, said lead author Sara Perry, Ph.D. Re

Today’s Popular Music is More Angry, Sad and Less Joyful

Today’s popular music is noticeably different from the popular songs of the 1960s and 1970s. Now a new study reveals that it’s not just the music itself that is different; today’s music consumers seem to prefer songs that express darker emotions in both lyric and tone. The findings, published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies , show that the expression of anger and sadness in popular music has increased gradually over time, while the expression of joy has declined. Using quantitative analytics, researchers from Lawrence Technological University in Michigan studied changes in popular music lyrics throughout the last seven decades, from the 1950s to 2016. Data scientists Kathleen Napier and Dr. Lior Shamir analyzed the lyrics of more than 6,000 songs found on the Billboard Hot 100, a list of the most popular songs of each year. In the past, songs were ranked primarily by record sales, radio broadcasting, and jukebox plays, but in more recent years, popularity is based on several

I Pretend that Fictional Characters Are Real & Talk to Myself as Them

I’ve always loved to play pretend. But now that I’m a teenager, instead of outgrowing it, it’s gotten worse. Now I’ve gotten to the point where it’s an obsession, and I spend more time with my imaginary friends then with real people. I pretend that my favorite characters from movies and TV shows are real, and I talk to myself, both as myself and the character. I have long discussions with myself. I also pretend that they are with me everywhere I go–to the supermarket, to my cousin’s house. I pretend that they’re with me, no matter what I do. Lately, I’ve also been doing something that’s hard to explain: I pretend to be two people (usually myself and my mother, or a cousin, or a made-up person) and have a pretend to have a conversation with them. I pretend that the fiction character is watching me and my mother/cousin/other. Usually, those scenarios involve either a verbal fight, or joking. I’m really concerned because I know this is abnormal and I’m not living a normal life. I’m worri