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Study Links Autism to 118 Freeway Traffic

The UCLA study identifies 7,603 autistic children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy.

Researchers at UCLA have discovered a link between cases of autism in Los Angeles County and air pollution caused mostly by freeway traffic in the area, including that of the 118 Freeway near Northridge and Chatsworth.

The study, published March 1 in Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at 7,603 children ages 3-5 who were diagnosed with autism during 1998-2009 and found associations between the disorder and pregnant women living in Los Angles County. The researchers worked closely with the California Department of Developmental Services and other agencies to identify children for the study.

The researchers — Tracy Ann Becerra, Michelle Wilhelm, Jørn Olsen, Myles Cockburn and Beate Ritz — used a land-use regression model of statistical analysis and data from ambient air pollutant monitoring stations positioned throughout L.A. County.

Joseph March 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM
I drive my son on the 118 twice a day just about everyday. Are they saying he is at high risk?
KK March 11, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Joseph, I believe the exposure was during pregnancy. Also, not related to just the 118 - it is all freeways.
Gotta Opinion March 11, 2013 at 08:19 PM
To Joseph: The article reads, "autistic children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy."
rob vanasco March 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Funny they nickle and dime us with all these 'green' taxes, yet CA, more so LA is a dirty craphole... case in point. Feeling ripped off yet?
Brian Aherne March 12, 2013 at 12:30 AM
This is a big "huh?." As presented it makes no sense, and while it cannot be said that the conclusion is incorrect, the data in the article make it suspect, approaching insane. Is the study set to be published in a reliable peer reviewed scientific journal, or is this the only way the "researchers" could get anyone to even consider their conclusion(s)?
Don Jagg March 12, 2013 at 04:31 PM
Why do I feel that I have only read half of a news story? Where is this study? Can we read it and draw our own conclusions? How does it relate to the 118 FWY when the included map doesn't even show the section of the 118 in Chatsworth and Northridge and the section that it does, Granada Hills has the lowest level of pollutants on the entire map. Looking at the map, the sections with the highest levels are freeways that are running through highly congested surface streets. Who's to say that the surface streets are not causing autism, or a combination of the both. Assuming that the data is correct, the obvious conclusion would be that car emissions can cause autism, not freeway traffic. I'm waiting for the punch line when they tell us that because of this, we should all take the Metro bus instead of driving.
Don Jagg March 12, 2013 at 04:37 PM
You will also note that the section of the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass, which is one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the country, has the lowest amount of pollutants. Almost no surface streets in the area.
Don Jagg March 12, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Directly from the study: Conclusion: Measured and estimated exposures from ambient pollutant monitors and LUR model suggest associations between autism and prenatal air pollution exposure, mostly related to traffic sources. From this, we get that the 118 Fwy causes autism???
Joseph March 12, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Sorry read it in a hurry and didn't grasp it all. Thank you.
Joseph March 12, 2013 at 08:12 PM
My mistake, thank you.
not Carl Peterson lll March 14, 2013 at 06:01 AM
THIS IS NOT REPORTING. Oh here is the other headlines for the same story http://brentwood.patch.com/users/jared-morgan After thwe first few along the 210 freeway, you will see the headline change with different freeways, none of which is in the story. The story shows correlation, not causation. He decided to make his own ideas up, then make ot personal for each community. LIE, LIE LIE!!!!!!
Don Jagg March 14, 2013 at 06:54 AM
What a joke! He put this story in 25 different Patches with 12 different headlines, all suited to the individual areas. What a concept. Make up your own freaking news. I had great hopes for the Patch idea and thought that it would be beneficial for the local communities but this is absolutely shameful. It stinks of propaganda. The entire Patch system has lost all credibility in my book.
not Carl Peterson lll March 14, 2013 at 07:22 AM
If I want one sided politics, No matter which side, I can go to many other sites. Miss Huffington sold to AOL, the parent co of the newer Patch. She did not pay bloggers, for the exposure they would get was their benifit. AOL paid 315 million dollars for the Huffington post, She was the editor of Patch until recently. hhmmmmm. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/04/arianna-huffington-wings-clipped-at-aol/
Jock March 14, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Somehow we in this country have been raised to think that the "news" was neutral, that it was as if seen from an objective eye, "The truth". It never has been from the overblown triumphs of King Nebuchadnezzar carved into a temple wall to the "Yellow Journalism" of Hearst (Still in business). Now it is truly "Caveat Emptor" and more than ever "Consider the Source". Sites are linked to ads. News does not come to us by virtue of an all seeing power it is a commodity. We are all being played (see George Carlin). My best thought on trying to get the straight poop on anything, is If I see a story that may be important, check several sources. The difference can be stunning. Don't trust any single source.

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