Pollution Increases Risk of Hospital Admissions in Autistic Children

Pollution Increases Risk of Hospital Admissions in Autistic Children

Air pollution has a significantly negative effect on autistic children even if they were exposed for only a short time. A study that was published in the BMJ Open journal revealed that exposure to air pollution increases hospital admissions risks for children who are on the autism spectrum. Researchers also indicated that the risk seems to be higher in boys than girls.

Described as a developmental disability affecting the brain, ASD or autism spectrum disorder is characterised by challenges in a person’s repetitive or restricted behaviours and social interaction and communication. 

Someone with ASD experiences different symptoms and has varying levels of severity. Its core symptoms, however, can be reduced and improved through proper diet and supplements that mainly target systemic inflammation and neuroinflammation, which are triggered by exposure to air pollution for several days or a few weeks. 

According to researchers, the nervous systems of schoolchildren are still in the developing stage so the children are more at risk when exposed to toxic air. More importantly, the study reveals an aggravation of symptoms for those exposed to air pollution, particularly PM2.5 (particulate matter) and NO2 (nitrogen dioxide). Thus, their overall health and quality of life are affected.

The observations stated above have largely been confirmed by a study conducted by Seoul National University hospital’s Institute of Public Health and Medical Care researchers. They gathered data from day-to-day hospital admissions among children with autism, focusing on respondents who were five to 14 years old between the years 2011 and 2015.

Data pertaining to the national day-to-day levels of PM2.5, O3 or ozone, and NO2 were also collected. Researchers got the data from 16 regions of the Republic of Korea.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that at present, one in 100 children around the world has ASD. So, it is essential to lower emission levels and find ways to minimise toxic air worldwide. 

There have been previous studies that touched on the link between air pollution and long-term exposure to it while the mother is pregnant or during the early postnatal period and the development of ASD among children. As such, additional research and further studies are needed so more information and details can be collected regarding specific autism spectrum disorder symptoms.

What’s needed right now is for authorities and governments to formulate and implement stricter, more definitive laws and regulations geared towards reducing and ultimately eliminating toxic emissions.

Diesel vehicle emissions

When you talk about toxic emissions, it’s hard not to talk about diesel vehicles. Diesel engines used to be the preferred choice of motorists, but this was before the diesel emissions scandal broke out in September 2015. Also known as Dieselgate, it changed consumers’ perception of diesel vehicles.

The Dieselgate scandal began when US authorities notified the Volkswagen Group that they found defeat devices in Audi and Volkswagen diesel vehicles being sold to consumers in the United States. These devices use a cheat technology that’s designed to manipulate emissions testing.

A defeat device automatically senses when a vehicle is being tested for emissions compliance. When the test starts, the device temporarily lowers emissions levels so these won’t exceed WHO-mandated limits. While regulation authorities will see the vehicle as clean and safe for the environment, the reality is the exact opposite.

When the vehicle is brought out and driven on real roads, it switches to its default modes and starts emitting vast amounts of NOx or nitrogen oxide emissions, often at four times the legal levels. So, every time it is taken out for a drive, the vehicle contributes considerable amounts of toxic gases to the planet’s already over-polluted air.

Aside from Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Renault, Nissan, Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, Vauxhall, and Peugeot, many other popular carmakers are also involved in the diesel emissions scandal. Each one of these brands misled customers into believing that the vehicles they bought for a premium price were not only high-performing but also eco-friendly. 

Effects of NOx emissions

NOx contains dangerous gases such as NO2 and NO (nitric oxide). It produces smog and acid rain and is a catalyst for the formation of ground-level pollution, which can devastate vegetation, especially plants and crops.

Nitrogen oxide emissions also have negative impacts on both mental and overall human health. Anxiety and depression episodes can become more frequent. Cognitive function may also be affected, which increases susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related conditions.

Exposure to NOx emissions makes one nauseated and develop breathing problems, and also suffer from fluid in the lungs, asthma and other respiratory issues. Serious health impacts include asphyxiation, chronic lung function reduction, cardiovascular diseases, vocal cords spasm, and premature death. 

Any car owner affected by the diesel emissions scandal should hold their carmaker responsible for the dangers and inconveniences the defeat devices have caused.

Making an emissions claim

To hold your carmaker responsible, you have to make a claim and bring them to court. The diesel claim process can be difficult but there are emissions experts who can guide you along the way. First things first, though; you need to check if you are eligible to make a claim against your manufacturer. 

There are certain questions to answer regarding your vehicle, so the best thing for you to do is visit the ClaimExperts.co.uk website to verify if you are eligible. They know exactly what you need.