Chances are you’ve met someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism is a range of neurodevelopment disorders from problems with socialization to complete lack of verbalization and extreme cognitive delays. More studies are revealing environmental toxins as a risk factor (read: Autism: Six Missing Pieces to the Puzzle). A new study published in Environmental Heath Perspectives links exposure to environmental pollution to brain changes that make people more vulnerable to developing autism or schizophrenia. After exposing mice to pollution, they experienced marked changes in behavior compared to mice living in an environment with filtered air.
This research correlates with a 2013 published in JAMA Psychiatry, which demonstrated an epidemiological link between pollution and autism; the researchers found that children who lived in areas with high levels of traffic pollution seemed to be more likely to be diagnosed with the neurodevelopmental disorder.