Autism is a cause of growing concern in the scientific community, with more and more children seemingly diagnosed with one of the many mental disabilities that fall under the autism label. While researchers have linked autism with obvious culprits like industrial food processing, a new study suggests a strong link between high amounts of traffic pollution and children born with autism.
The study, headed by Dr. Heather E. Volk of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, showed that pregnant women exposed to high levels of traffic pollution were twice as likely to give birth to a child with a developmental disorder. Young children exposed to high levels of traffic pollution were also three times as likely to develop autism.
While the researchers are quick to point out this isn’t conclusive evidence, it backs up previous findings by other researchers. The emissions coming out of the tailpipes of automobiles are indeed quite deadly. If anyone suggests otherwise, I tell them to stick their mouth over a tailpipe of a running car for five minutes.
This is just one more argument for a move away from a fossil fuel-based economy. We will all be better off when automobiles run cleaner, allowing everyone to breathe a little easier.