Is Your Car Contributing to Autism Rates?

pregnant woman

Pregnant women exposed to toxic contaminants found near freeways, especially during their third trimester, appear to be more likely to give birth to autistic children than women who live in areas where the air is cleaner. The specific cause seems to be “fine particulate pollution,” the microscopic flecks of solid and liquid matter that come out of the tail pipe of a vehicle that burns gasoline, as well as emissions from power plants, industrial facilities, and wood fires.

These findings, published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives and reported on TakePart, argue strongly for measures both cities and citizens should take to reduce air pollution.

The links between smog and respiratory failure, asthma, and heart disease have long been documented. But until now, there has been little research on whether polluted air can also cause autism. Researchers compared pregnant women who lived in smoggy areas with those who did not. They also looked at where the women studied lived before, during and after pregnancy. How close to or far from freeways and other sources of pollution was considered, as well.

The researchers found that high exposure to the contaminants found in air polluted by car exhaust and power plant emissions, especially during the last trimester, increased the chances that a baby would be born with autism, with males more likely to suffer from this disease than females. Women who were exposed to smoggy air before they got pregnant did not seem to be affected. Likewise, women who conceived after they left smoggy environs did not see an increase in autistic births.

The researchers agree that the links between air pollution and autism merit more study. In the meantime, we should do what we can to promote clean air. The following actions would make a difference:

* Support efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state environmental departments to enforce air pollution laws already on the books and to strengthen those laws with new regulations and standards.

* Reduce the amount of driving you do, especially in the summer, when hot air concentrates the impact that air pollution can have. Carpool, take mass transit, combine shopping trips, and telecommute to reduce the number of trips you make per day. Walk or bicycle distances of a mile or less.

* Save energy at home to reduce demands on your local power plant. Use a programmable thermostat to automatically regulate heating and air conditioning; insulate and weather-strip to reduce energy loss; and replace old appliances with new energy-efficient models.

* Shift away from fossil fuels like oil and coal. Choose solar and wind power, fuels that don’t dirty the air.




Cici A
Cici Aabout a year ago

Hello, I am a Belgian mother of 17-year old son with autism. My son is verbal,followed normal education with help from me, his issues : shyness, constipation, concentration problems, problems with maturity, practically no friends because interaction with people is difficult, parasite, yeast on him, acne, kind of dandruff on top of his head. Since the age of 8, we have been trying a lot of natural supplements, hospitals med and i have wasted a lot of money trying to make him became a man and live freely without being intimidated by friends in the neighbor hood also to get him better and more focused for school matters and his general health. Nothing ever seems to pull through not until one day, i decided to share his situation to a very close friend of mine who claims there is an herbal man who cured her 12 years old son called Baba Alika and has also helped a lot of women to cure their children's Autism. quickly i contacted his email: been giving to me by miss Ava, just to give him a test, i spoke to him he asked me to purchase his Autism roots herbs and seed oil which i did, he promised to send it as soon as purchased and thereafter i received it and start to use the Autism herbal med immediately on him for only 7 days instructed by Baba Alika. it was unbelievable after 21 days i was my son totally cured and free from Autism disgrace and embarrassment. There was so much improvement. He seems to get more

Past Member 4 years ago

don't own one

Sue H.
Sue H4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this aspect of possible causes. Air pollution is a huge global problem.

Freya H.
Freya H4 years ago

I am an "aspie" so any article about autism gets my attention.

Autism and other mental conditions (I refuse to say disabilities or syndromes!) no doubt have a variety of causes. You can't pin down just one. Also, if you really think about it, everybody is somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Some of us are just farther from "normal" than others.

Gerald L.
Gerald L4 years ago

contd; U.S. Department of Transportation Fines Honda $70 Million for ...$70-million‎
8 Jan 2015 ... U.S. Department of Transportation Fines Honda $70 Million for Failing to Comply with Laws That Safeguard the Public. NHTSA 01-15

Another supposedly reputable automaker also had a complaint that the dealer was not printing Work Orders to track problems. No Paper Trail makes for good ratings, Autotrocities of the worst kind.

Honda Fined for Violations of Safety Law - -to-government.html
8 Jan 2015 ... The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined Honda $35 ... top auto safety agency has fined Honda Motor a record $70 million for ...

Gerald L.
Gerald L4 years ago

Your car interior may have = impact;
Is a Michigan organization that removes interior panels from cars and tests for chemicals and solvent off-gassing. They have a rating chart. Honda XXX was rated with the least fuming of toxins, BUT before you ever make a vehicle buying decision,please research Class Action Lawsuits, Automotive Complaint Sites, Consumer Affairs is an excellent.

I never suspected Honda, the Number ONE rated automobile would be hiding 1,700 deaths from the Federal Governments TREAD Reporting Program. They were just fined 2 X $35,000,000.oo million dollars = $70 million. Their V-6 motors with VCM (valve cylinder management) are a Oil Burning fiasco, burning up to a quart in 750 miles, polluting the environment with fumes being taken into the AC system inside the car.

A Massachusetts owner opened his car in the morning after a 9 hour drive to New Brunswick Canada and was overwhelmed with the stink, his NAV Unit was melted, glovebox and carpet burnt.

Top 641 Complaints and Reviews about Honda‎
Rating: 1.6 - 243 votes
In August 013 the NAV Unit was affected by water leaking by the out of place washer ... The Crosstour handles solidly, but their cursed with the VCM. ... settlement is an Environmental Disgrace allowing new Honda V-6's burning 1 quart of oil ...

Angela K.
Angela K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thank you for sharing

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H4 years ago

My car does 67 mpg, is tax-exempt for being a relatively green design, and I'm a rural motorist, so I doubt I'm causing much of a problem.

Why do I have a car? Because I'm disabled and you can't transport a mobility buggy and crutches any other way - also my destinations are usually rural and can be hard to reach by public transport.

Steve McCrea
Steve McCrea4 years ago

The National Autism Foundation relates that while genetics is clearly implicated, environmental factors can and do contribute to the development of autism. See the link:

Genetic and environmental causes are not mutually exclusive!

---- Steve