Study further confirms link between autism and pesticide exposure

Complications during pregnancy, viral infections, and genetic disorders have all been associated with autism. But for the past few years, an increasing number of researchers have started to focus their attention on another important risk factor: environmental pollutants. These neurotoxins, which include everything from pesticides, to mercury and diesel, are thought to alter brain development in foetuses. Now, a new study further confirms this link by showing that pregnant women who live within a mile of farms and fields where pesticides are employed see their risk of having a child with autism increase by 60 percent — and that risk actually doubles if the exposure occurs in the third trimester.

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