Air pollution and increased risk of autism have been linked through several studies. A new study from Harvard School of Public Health tried to find out exactly when this risk is increased. (Fine particulate air pollution linked with increased autism risk)
What they found is that if a pregnant mom is exposed to fine particle pollution from power plants, cars and smoke in her third trimester, the risk of her baby having autism is doubled. The greater the exposure, the greater the risk. Note that it was the fine particles and not the larger particles that were associated with an increased risk.
Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to avoid outdoor air pollution. And what if you live in a highly polluted area?
Unfortunately, you have little control over the air outside. But you do have significant control over the air within your own home. The EPA says that the level of indoor air pollution may be two to five times higher than the pollution level outdoors. Fine particles from outdoor pollution come into the home through doors and windows each time they are opened. Additionally, there are many other toxins in homes (chemicals in furniture, cabinets, carpets, etc. off-gas into the air and gather in dust) adding to the poisonous mix.
What Can You Do?
Bottom line – if you are pregnant or have small children, you need to clean the air in your home. A good HEPA air purifier is essential. A true HEPA purifier is significantly better at removing tiny particles than the ionic and electronic air cleaners.
You can find HEPA air purifiers in a wide range of prices. Be careful with buying the cheap ones since they probably won’t do a good job of removing the contaminants. With air purification, you certainly get what you pay for.
Read about the air purifiers we have found to be the most effective and also the most cost-effective.
See air purifiers
Read how to protect your children from indoor air pollution