Chemical solvents can trigger autism in children

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Any individual that has a lot of contact with chemical solvents at work increases their risk of having an autistic child. At least that is what the results of a US study suggest, which scientists have now presented in the journal “Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders”.

Of the 174 families that took part in the study, 93 children had autism and 81 did not. With the help of telephone interviews, the researchers recorded the parents’ exposure to chemical solvents three months before conception, during and after pregnancy. This made it possible to establish a link between parental exposure to lacquers, colored lacquers or the solvent xylene and the development of their child’s autistic disorders. According to the scientists, previous studies indicate that autism is more likely to occur in children born in areas with elevated levels of volatile chlorine compounds and air pollutants. The results of the current study support the suspicion that that contact with chemical solvents or pesticides can harm the unborn child. They also point out that the mother herself does not have to come into contact with the pollutants. Solvents that your partner brings home with you on their clothes and shoes, for example, can also have a negative effect.

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