Women Working With Solvents At Higher Risk Of Having Children With Autism

June 28, 2019

© Bogdan Hoda | Dreamstime

Autism has surged over the last 20 years with now affects 1 in 68 children in the United States.  In 2000, autism affected about one in every 150 US children. Four years later that number jumped to one in 59 kids. The biggest puzzle is that its causes are unknown and its risk factors many and various. However a new report out is showing a link between autistic children and mothers who work industrial jobs that expose them to potent chemicals. Women who are exposed to solvents at work are 1.5 times more likely to have a child with autism. The solvents reviewed are a wide and potent class of chemicals used in many industries, running the gambit from food manufacturing to plastic, engineering to dry cleaning and printing to pharmaceuticals. The powerful chemicals can get into anyone's system via skin contact, inhalation and can linger in the body a long time unless protective gear is worn. The study authors think that, while these children are still in the womb, they get exposed to the same toxins their mothers are, and it may alter their brain development. So the increase seen in the last 20 years may be happening as women who were exposed to these chemicals decades prior - before tighter regulations - were having children. The mothers of children on the autism spectrum had been exposed to more solvents than had women with children who didn't have autism. Although scientists are fairly certain that genetics have something to do with autism, most suspect there are environmental factors at play. Autism is more common in boys, children of older parents, and children with intellectual disabilities and most children don't get diagnosed until after age four, but there's no cut-off age.

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SOURCE: Daily Mail

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