Monday, July 30, 2007

Autism Spectrum Disorder linked to certain pesticides?

A study by California state health officials links farm fields sprayed with certain pesticides to an increase in the number of autistic children. The study, which targets organochlorine pesticides, is to be published on Monday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The rate of autism among children who lived near the fields was very high, suggesting exposure in the womb could play a role. The study is the first to link pesticides to autism, which affects one in every 100 children, the Times reported. The study suggests that the farther the women lived from the fields, the less likely they were to give birth to children with autism. Scientists warn that they are dealing with a small population, so the results could be highly preliminary. The pesticides in the farm fields are older generation compounds created in the 1950s to kill mites, the newspaper said.