A new study has discovered a possible link between pollution and autism.


In research carried out in the US, it was found that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were more likely to have been exposed to higher levels of air toxins during their mothers’ pregnancies, right up to the first two years of life.


The research, which is officially being presented today, was carried out on a selection of families in Pennsylvania.


Researchers interviewed families with members living with ASD in the area, before then comparing their results with families living in neighbouring areas with lower toxin levels.


Evelyn Talbot, who led the research, said that the new findings are potentially significant in light of the rise in cases of ASD.


“Autism spectrum disorders are a major public health problem, and their prevalence has increased dramatically,” she said.


She added that given how little research has been carried out into the impact of the environment in this area, the findings should not be ignored.