Environmental factors play a large part in the health of the humans who inhabit that domain. Studies continue to show connections between air quality and quality of well-being. A recent study revealed a link between inhaled pollutants and symptoms of autism. This research is invaluable, as we still continue to seek out possible causes for this disorder.
Some particles are poison
Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in Shanghai decided to expand on previous research that showed connections between air pollution and neurological development in babies for a few years after birth. This time they looked at children who were primary school aged.
The researchers also chose to look at specific air particles- ones that most governments don’t monitor as closely. Some of these chemicals include carbon, sulfur oxides, and emissions from industrial areas.
Identifying the poison
The team took 124 cases of autism spectrum disorder and compared them with 1,240 children who did not have an ASD diagnosis. All children were from the ages of 3 to 12 years. The particle levels where the kids spent their first three years of life, a very critical period, were collected. Doing this gave the scientists a better idea of what their exposure to pollution looked like.
The link was immediately clear. Those exposed to higher levels of pollution and particles were 86% more likely to develop ASD. Additionally, the chance seemed to increase if exposure was around the second and third year.
It’s a little terrifying to think about the dangers a simple, deep breath can bring about. Minuscule fragments of emissions can enter our lungs without us giving it a second thought.
This information will hopefully encourage governments to keep a closer eye on emissions that they don’t normally monitor. Further research will need to continue, but there’s an obvious connection between these seemingly harmless emissions and mental and physical health.