A new study discovered a link between mothers’ exposure to solvents and autism in children. The scientists collected information on work records for 750 mothers and 891 fathers. Also, parents of 537 autistic children and 414 children without any disorders were part of the study. The scientists also took into account how much they have been exposed to these substances, in terms of prevalence and intensity.
The team took into consideration sixteen substances that have, in the past, been connected to neural and congenital anomalies in children. Among these substances were medicines, metals, insecticides and fungicides, anaesthetics, asphalt, brake fluid, plastics, polymers, radiation, disinfectants and solvents.
The level of risk was also measured and classified between none, rare (the substances were used only on a number of occasions), moderate (the substances were used every week) and frequent (the substances were used a few times a week or daily). The substances that were used the most by the mothers were the disinfectants, solvents and oxirane. The substances that were used the most by fathers were disinfectants, solvents and metals.
The study concluded that mothers came into contact with any kind of chemical compound had 50% chances of having children with autism. The more they came into contact with the substances, the chances of their children being born with developmental disorders increased to 85%. The mothers that were rarely or not at all exposed to them had much lower chances of having children with autism.
While all substances were harmful, the results showed that the solvents were the ones to do a greater damage to the human body and increase the risk of autism or other developmental disorders in children.
It is worth mentioning that the research was not a precise experiment as the researchers did not have enough data in regards with various solvents and could not offer information about particular substances that need to be avoided. But the research was the stepping stone of further experiments and studies in order to determine how such substances might cause autism and developmental disorders in children and also which exact substance is harmful.