Smoggy Days Could Help Send Kids With Autism to the ER

Could air pollution be an autism trigger?

There is some evidence that smog may cause an increase in the number of sick visits by children with autism.

According to a new study, short-term exposure to air pollution is associated with an increased risk of hospitalization among kids with developmental disorders.

People with autism get admitted due to hyperactivity, aggression, and self-injury. While some symptoms may improve through medication, diet, and supplement intake, people who experience autism may also be subject to injury due to air pollution.

When talking about children and neurodevelopment, the scientists noted that their nervous systems are also more susceptible to environmental exposures than adults.

ASD symptoms are exacerbated by time spent exposed to polluted air. Boys are more likely to experience a worsening of these symptoms than girls, according to a study from Seoul National University Hospital and College of Medicine.

In this study conducted by the South Korean government, hospital admissions from children ages 5-14 with autism were investigated.

The research team collected data on 16 regions in South Korea, including daily levels of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone.

The study showed that autistic children had a higher hospitalization risk when exposed to air pollution. Boys were particularly at risk.

With every ten micrograms increase of PM2.5 in the air, the risk of hospital admission for autism increases by 17%. With every ten parts per billion increase in NO2, the risk increases by 9%, and with every 3% increase in O3, there’s a 9% increased risk.

Scientists have found a potential link between the pollutants NO2 and autism. Those exposed are 29% more likely to be admitted to a hospital for illnesses including hyperactivity, aggression, or self-injury.

The research emphasizes that reducing exposure to pollution is essential for managing symptoms of autism. It has important implications for quality of life and economic costs.

Although, the study found an association between higher pollution levels and hospital admissions of children with mild autism. The study did not find a link to show that the high pollution levels caused higher hospitalizations.

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