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Subject: Rising autism - we finally found the smoking gun? Air pollution? rss

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NEW STUDY LINKS AIR POLLUTION WITH AUTISM
http://www.abc4.com/content/news/state/story/New-study-links...

A new Harvard study shows women in areas with polluted air are up to twice as likely to have an autistic child than those living in communities with cleaner air....

Utah has some of the worst air quality in the nation and it leads the country in the highest rates of children with autism.

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Nice.

I think that autism is nuanced in that it is caused by multiple factors, and when those factors all come together, you get worse cases, and where there is a single factor that is high and the other low, you may not see any problems at all. Regardless, the more contributing factors we find, the better. More likely there is a specific thing in the air pollution that is affecting this, and hopefully we can find that, too.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Autism is affected by how the body (and thus the brain) develops. Pollution must affect how the brain develops as we absorb it into the blood stream (and thus into the undeveloped fetus).
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IF this is true, it could be huge. The Autism cases they know about are one thing, they are just the easiest to diagnose. Think of all the kids/adults who have been affected to a lesser degree. How many people might have had extra challenges in life because of this? Obviously there is nothing that can be done retroactively if it is the case. Though there will be legions of lawyers pouring over information looking to place blame.

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Brian Homan
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In reading the study, there does appear to be a relatively small population pool to use for generalization. However, among that pool, there were statistically significant results. I wouldn't jump to conclusions just yet, but this certainly warrants further study. More than air quality, are there other measures that families of autistic kids might have in common? Those should be looked at too.
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bmhoman1 wrote:
In reading the study, there does appear to be a relatively small population pool to use for generalization. However, among that pool, there were statistically significant results. I wouldn't jump to conclusions just yet, but this certainly warrants further study. More than air quality, are there other measures that families of autistic kids might have in common? Those should be looked at too.

Yeah, there are plenty of other unhealthy chemicals around besides in the air.
 
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Jythier wrote:
I think that autism is nuanced in that it is caused by multiple factors, and when those factors all come together, you get worse cases, and where there is a single factor that is high and the other low, you may not see any problems at all. Regardless, the more contributing factors we find, the better. More likely there is a specific thing in the air pollution that is affecting this, and hopefully we can find that, too.

This.

There is a significant amount of research coming out now that is also showing that nutrition while pregnant has a major influence on a child's immune system for the rest of their life, and how they respond to disease. Lots of factors, it seems.
 
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xilan wrote:
Jythier wrote:
I think that autism is nuanced in that it is caused by multiple factors, and when those factors all come together, you get worse cases, and where there is a single factor that is high and the other low, you may not see any problems at all. Regardless, the more contributing factors we find, the better. More likely there is a specific thing in the air pollution that is affecting this, and hopefully we can find that, too.

This.

There is a significant amount of research coming out now that is also showing that nutrition while pregnant has a major influence on a child's immune system for the rest of their life, and how they respond to disease. Lots of factors, it seems.
True, but some are easier to eliminate then others.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
rue, but some are easier to eliminate then others.

Agreed...though, I would also say that some are easier to eliminate in theory. If such things were always easy, we'd have a lot less (if any?) type 2 diabetes!
 
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Wouldn't we then have tons of autism in China, India, etc?

Or do we already?
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lfisher wrote:
Wouldn't we then have tons of autism in China, India, etc?

Or do we already?


I think there may have been an article on it that I saw. But I didn't read it. It looked long.
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lfisher wrote:
Wouldn't we then have tons of autism in China, India, etc?

Or do we already?


This is an excellent question. It seems that China is starting to look into autism, but they are not currently aware of how prevalent it is. They are launching (or have have launched) a study that will help define the percentage of the populace that have autism and the degrees of autism that are demonstrated.

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After doing some more digging, it does not appear that India has any hard numbers for autism. I found that South Korea has 1 in 38 kids having autism according to one of their studies, but I did not find the reference to that study. It looks like we're about 1 in 50 here in the US.
 
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Quote:
After doing some more digging, it does not appear that India has any hard numbers for autism. I found that South Korea has 1 in 38 kids having autism according to one of their studies, but I did not find the reference to that study.

South Korea's air is pretty polluted, from what I've heard. We were thinking of possibly living there for a while until we learned this. A lot of the pollution drifts over from China...

Quote:
It looks like we're about 1 in 50 here in the US.

1 in 32 Utah boys, per the article
 
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Does anyone have any info on Canada? I can't seem to find anything useful in terms of numbers. Judging by the stark difference in landscape just going over the Ambassador Bridge to Canada from Detroit, I would expect our cleaner neighbor to the north to be fairing a bit better overall than we are in terms of autism, if air pollution is the issue.
 
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tesuji wrote:
Quote:
It looks like we're about 1 in 50 here in the US.

1 in 32 Utah boys, per the article


Yep, according to the study, there appears to be a significant difference between boys and girls in the statistics.
 
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I think autistic kids would get along much better in the structured school environment in China than they do in the more free-wheeling US school environments.

Honestly, I am not sure that my daughter growing up when I did would ever have been identified as anything but a loner that doesn't participate in class.
 
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bmhoman1 wrote:
Does anyone have any info on Canada? I can't seem to find anything useful in terms of numbers. Judging by the stark difference in landscape just going over the Ambassador Bridge to Canada from Detroit, I would expect our cleaner neighbor to the north to be fairing a bit better overall than we are in terms of autism, if air pollution is the issue.


Not sure the level of pollution is much different in Windsor than Detroit, but they do keep the streets cleaner. (Or used to, it's starting to look run down, but not bombed out, yet.)
 
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Why bother doing a study when they could have just come here and asked all these experts?
 
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Fwing wrote:
Why bother doing a study when they could have just come here and asked all these experts?
As tobacco and alcohol are known to damage the development of fetuses it seems rather obvious that any pollutant mater will.
 
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Genetics is likely to remain the major known contributor to autism, but yes, there are clearly both genetic and environmental factors.
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qzhdad wrote:
bmhoman1 wrote:
Does anyone have any info on Canada? I can't seem to find anything useful in terms of numbers. Judging by the stark difference in landscape just going over the Ambassador Bridge to Canada from Detroit, I would expect our cleaner neighbor to the north to be fairing a bit better overall than we are in terms of autism, if air pollution is the issue.


Not sure the level of pollution is much different in Windsor than Detroit, but they do keep the streets cleaner. (Or used to, it's starting to look run down, but not bombed out, yet.)


I'm not talking specifically on the border, as pollution from the US does waft up in to Canada. They have taken steps over the last 20 years to reduce this problem. Canada overall, though, has fewer industrial complexes and might make for an interesting comparison.
 
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bmhoman1 wrote:
Does anyone have any info on Canada? I can't seem to find anything useful in terms of numbers.

Here you go
 
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Interesting, but definitely in need of further study.
 
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tesuji wrote:
Utah has some of the worst air quality in the nation and it leads the country in the highest rates of children with autism.[/i]


Are we sure it's air pollution? It could just be proximity to DW.
 
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